“So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.”
Some of you know that I’ve started doing Crossfit just over 5 weeks ago, and while it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, it’s also one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.
One of the things I started doing was recording my best weight lifted/squatted/pressed, etc… to see how far I’d come. I can’t even describe the overwhelming feeling that I’ve had with the progress I’ve made. On my own, I had tried weight lifting, but didn’t have anyone pushing me in my technique, challenging me to lift more, or encouraging me to try new things. Since I started doing crossfit, my coach has done all of those things and more. He’s been there watching closely, and gently encouraging me to be more and do more than I would have ever pushed myself to do on my own and I’ve accomplished astounding gains (at least for me!).
This has got me thinking so much about leadership and the people in my sphere of influence… am I watching them closely, pushing them to do more than they think they can do? And most importantly, have I done the work before hand and made myself strong and cleared a path so that THEY can become strong?
One of the best things we can do as leaders is to strengthen ourselves.
Strength doesn’t come from one really good session, it comes through a lot of consistent, grueling, faithful workouts. Sometimes the workouts are small and almost embarrassing, but when you start small and remain consistent, you eventually are strong enough for more. As leaders, it’s exactly the same!
It takes effort every day. Prayer for the people in your sphere, filling your soul with the word of God, expanding your mind through reading/studying those who’ve gone before you… these are simple “workouts” you can do to build strength in yourself. Don’t be like me and get embarrassed that you don’t already know something… just start...keep going and you’ll get there!
Once you’ve become strong on your own, you’ve got something to give back. My coach has has put in decades of work towards becoming strong so that the people he trains will be excellent… so their grip will become strong, their knees will become flexible to be able to lift more weight. Because he put in the work and became an expert in his own field, he has great insight to give back to me.
As leaders, we have to be ready to put in the time, and the work and be committed so that OTHERS in our sphere can become strong.
As leaders today, my challenge is as simple as this: don’t take the easy road. Don’t allow yourself to remain weak. And most of all don’t let the people you influence remain weak. Do the hard work of clearing the path for them, so that they can start off with a road that’s walkable for them.
Be ready to hand things off in a way you’d want them handed to you.
Put in the work of thoughtful preparation, so they can become strong in the right ways at the right times.
And lastly, and most importantly, leave them better than you found them.
And isn’t that what leadership really is? It’s simply leaving others better and stronger than you found them. My goal today: buckle down and train hard so that the people in my sphere leave better and stronger, and hopefully one day they will do the same for others.