Leading a non-profit organization can feel like being a mom: everyone wants something from you at the same time and you aren’t always sure how to provide it. As a leader you wear multiple hats from CEO to fundraiser to event planner to researcher to HR rep to janitor. You are resourceful, enthusiastic, compassionate, and decisive. Everybody from the mayor to the preschool kid in your program is looking to you for results.
In the middle of all that, how do you have time to think about your own development? Your whole mission is about caring for others. How could you stop and care for yourself?
Healthy leaders are those who know their limits and invest in their own development, knowing that their growth results in the growth of those around them.
Here are a few reasons great leaders make time to invest in their own leadership growth:
- Investing in your own leadership increases your capacity.
You are capable of learning new skills and tools that will make you a better leader. The sooner you learn and implement those tools, the more prepared you will be to handle the daily challenges with ease. The things that used to stress you out and max your capacity will not overwhelm you.
- Asking for help models humility and a learning posture to your team.
As leaders, we want our team to keep getting better at what they do. What better way to model this than by learning from others, taking time to learn a new leadership practice, and asking those more experienced leaders to share their leadership tips.
- Making time to focus and plan creates clarity and security.
What is a key leadership area that you want to grow in this year? How could you do that? What resources (people, books, seminars, etc.) are available to you? What is a next action to access those resources? Setting aside time to reflect on these questions and map out a simple plan for growth in one key area will make a clear path and motivate you to take responsibility for your development.
- Coaching from seasoned leaders helps you avoid mistakes
You are not the first leader to feel uncertain, make mistakes, or be flying by the seat of your pants. What leader do you look up to who you can ask for an hour now and then? Who in your area of expertise has paved a trail that you could learn from? Call them up. Ask for their insights into problems you are wrestling with. Chances are that they have experienced something similar. People do not expect you to have it all together, they know the struggle and want to cheer you on.
There are many reasons to look at your calendar and prioritize time to invest in yourself as a leader. Maybe now is the season to budget in time and money for leadership development or coaching. Investing in yourself as a leader makes everyone around you better. Go For It.
Today is the last day in my Coaching Session Give Away. Make a comment as to the area you want to grow in and you are entered to win. I’ll announce the winner tonight.