Imagine a world where you as a leader have time to focus on the few really important tasks, projects or future states you would like to build towards. Imagine having a team full of leaders that isolate you from the mundane routine problems and fire-fighting of everyday organizational life. Do you have to imagine it, or do you have it?
Any leader who has only followers around him will be called upon to continually draw on his own resources to get things done. Without other leaders to carry the load, he will become fatigued and burnt out…Unless you want to carry the whole load yourself, you need to be developing and equipping leaders. – John C. Maxwell, Equipping 101
This is an incredibly accurate statement. Leaders should be developing those around them and those who work for them for their benefit and growth, but also for the leaders themselves. On its face, this seems an almost selfish motive. It is not.
In today’s busy, on the go, never say no, constant communication world, it is easy for leaders to get overloaded and over-extended. Add in an element of “it is easier if I just do it myself” and eventually leaders will find themselves in the situation Mr. Maxell wrote about – fatigued and burnt out.
As leaders, the professional development of our subordinates must be a priority – for their success, our success and the organizations. Sometimes this means making hard decisions and accepting the consequences. If you know you can do it faster or maybe better, it is tempting to just go ahead and do it. While in some situations, it is appropriate to take the faster or more efficient path, there needs to be some risk taken and trust given to potential leaders. This is how they learn.
We are always too busy. The project or task is always too important. This is the prevalent thinking that spirals us towards being overwhelmed. There is never a good time to train. We must make the time, accept the consequences, and realize that present sacrifices payoff in the form of future freedom, success, and a healthier mental state. It is your responsibility to yourself, your team, and your organization.