Should I Spend Time Growing Myself?

"To help develop others, start with yourself" - Marshall Goldsmith

Wherever you are in the leadership journey, or if you are doing whatever you can to lead, you needed to hear this today. I will tell you why. We will always error on the side of others over ourselves. I don't know if this is more of a cultural norm or something that is innately built into our wiring, but either way, we will more often than not find ourselves pouring everything we have into the development of others at the expense of ourselves. 

This could look like a number of things. We will give up work life balance to allow our followers to have work life balance. Maybe it feels good to be the martyr. Maybe, if we are truly honest with ourselves, we now have some relational leverage with the other person that we could capitalize on later. Whatever the case may be, our paradigm needs to change. 

The Oxygen Mask

My father in law talked to my wife when she was growing up about something he called the oxygen mask theory. There is a reason that the flight attendant tells the adult to put on their mask before putting on a child's. If the adult is passed out, there is no way the child will know how to put it on by themselves. The same is true for our followers. 

If we burn out because we are not practicing work/life balance, then our employees will have no one to follow and possibly not have a job depending on the industry. 

If a leader sends their people to multiple conferences a year, yet cannot seem to find the time to get to one themselves, they will eventually become outdated due to the lack of community and exposure to current ideas. This is what is gleaned at conferences, but without it we become stale and possibly bored. We stop pushing the boundaries and innovating. 

It is time to refocus and put yourself slightly in the lead of your people. Notice here that I did not say you need to put yourself way in front of others. This is only slightly. You should be the one considering taking a much needed day off and asking your people to cover. You should go to the conference WITH your people instead of staying behind to take care of work. 

Don't let a self deprecating mindset ruin your leadership. Serve. Shepherd. Give. However, not at the cost of your leadership. 

Do you feel exhausted and overused, but can't take because you are too busy giving? 

Do you know you give too much?

Have you honestly taken time to look introspectively at why you give/serve?


Maybe you have found your leadership in a place that is stale because you are serving. You might feel slighted because you have given so much and feel you should receive now, but you haven't. It might be time to sit down with a leadership coach to walk you through leadership balance. Click below to schedule.