Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How Often Do You Fill Your Leadership Cup?

Anyone who leads anything has a leadership cup. Be it your family, your team at work, the small group at your church or the group of gals you coffee with each morning at the coffee house - you lead in some way, shape or form.

From a pure logic standpoint, your capacity to lead is likened to a cup. You can only pour out what you have inside. Once the cup is empty, it's pretty tough to keep going, effectively.

Today's question is designed to challenge you to fill your cup. For me it is a no brainer. And it's that time of year again.

Every August since 2006, I refill my leadership cup at the annual Global Leadership Summit put on by the Willowcreek Association. It is two full days packed with lots of teachings, interactions and activities designed to strengthen me as a leader. I cannot imagine my year without it. It is not the only leadership cup fill I get every year but it is the most significant. It is a signal to all around me that my personal development is a priority. No calls, no meetings, very little email interaction - 100% focus on growing my leadership capabilities. GLS 2012 is a special year as it marks the first year I'm attending the GLS as my own boss.

It was at my third GLS that the possibility of owning my own business even became a major thought. I've said many times and I highlight it again in my upcoming book, I am an unlikely entrepreneur from a long history of family members who are good at working for others. However, my commitment to growing and filling my leadership cup every year in an intense and intentional way led me to my current place. In between summits, I read voraciously - blogs, books, articles to help me grow. I also speak at and attend several other conferences. I interact regularly with other committed growing leaders. Lots of tactics and lots of time invested in filling my leadership cup.

I find that keeping my cup full increases my capacity to extend myself to those I lead. I cannot function well as a leader without my cup full.  Everyone is different. For me, full = ready. Ready to lead. Ready to jump on opportunities. Ready to be more compassionate to those around me. Ready to do what I was designed to do - revolutionize relationships on planet Earth.

What about you?

How often do you fill your leadership cup?

What are your tactics for keeping it full?

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