Investing Your Leadership

Where did your leadership come from?

Some was innate - your wiring is to lead. Some was developed - you worked hard to get better. Some was a gift - other leaders invested in you.

Each of us differs in the relative proportions of those three leadership sources, but each of us has a leadership level to steward now. Whether you feel your leadership is hard-earned or an undeserved gift, you have leadership to offer. Your influence, your experiences, your connections, your wisdom, your understanding.

The question is, how will you invest it?

Who will you lead? Will you help them become a better leader? It’s a long journey from led to leader; your experience will help others, if you’ll invest it.

Ideas for fruitful leadership investing:

  • What you have is not really yours - it came from others and is for the benefit of others.

  • you increase your investments if you reflect on who invested in you, and credit or thank them.

  • you pick investments carefully - identify who you want to invest in, and why.

  • investment is a long-term strategy - don’t pull back at the first speed bump you hit.

  • downturns can be the best periods for investing - turn your obstacles into steps up for others.

  • start young - don’t just invest in those who can return the favor, invest in those who have the most potential over the long term, even though you gain little in the initial stages.

And one last thought: don’t let yourself off the hook by saying you aren’t a leader. You are breathing, and you know people, so influence them well, for their benefit not yours, that makes you a leader.