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Leaders Develop Themselves First!

Leaders develop themselves first

Leaders Develop Themselves First Before Others

Not too many years ago I reflected on something that I had heard many times traveling. As the plane I was in was preparing to take off we were going through the regular safety instructions: “in the case that there is a sudden drop in pressure in the main cabin, oxygen  masks will drop…” Most passengers including myself pay little attention to the instructions, but this time I was paying attention. The words “Passengers are instructed to make sure their masks are on first before assisting other passengers or children” made me ask why? Why wouldn’t I help others first before I attended to my own needs? Of course the answer is that if I try to get someone else’s mask on first and then I run out of oxygen myself, then it won’t do either of us any good.

Great leaders develop others, but the leader that secures his or her oxygen mask first will have more energy, better tools and better techniques to help others secure theirs.  It is not uncommon that I find leaders doing the opposite. They extol the benefits and spend a lot of time and money on regular development of their employees, but are developmentally impoverished themselves. As a result they lack the improved skills to help those they lead thrive.

Are you taking the proper time to develop yourself? Experience is a great and important teacher, but coupled with disciplined development it is the best teacher.

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