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January 19, 2018

 

Almost twenty years ago I started a solo law practice with a $250.00 retainer. That is not the recommended approach. I had no idea what I was doing, but in a little over two years, the firm grew from one individual to over a million dollars in annual revenue and about 15 employees. That’s when I became serious about growing as a leader.

Specifically, I wanted to grow the firm to the next level, but I realized that something was needed other than instinct. Not sure where to start, I began reading books about leadership and how to develop effective organizations. One of the first things I learned was that in order to grow a business, I had to grow leaders.

Organizations grow and prosper in direct correlation with the number and caliber of available leaders. A failure to groom leaders is often a reason for long term business failure.  Thriving companies need leaders at every level and several in the pipeline.

So where do you begin with leadership development?

The answer is: with you – the one your team is supposed to follow. Would you follow you? True leaders are keen on developing others, but aren’t always aware of their own shortcomings. Thus, a leader’s first task is self-development. Here are three ways to get started:   

Invest in Leadership Training

Once I caught the leadership vision, I went on leadership seminars from experts like John Maxwell, Brian Tracy and Les Brown – anyone that could teach me how to be a better leader.

I invested in a business growth consultant and even engaged a local university team to come to my office and teach my staff about leadership.

Set a Goal to Read at Least One Book Per Month

I bought and read leadership books by the truckload: Ken Blanchard; Stephen Covey; Jim Collins; Zig Ziglar, Patrick Lencioni, Laurie Beth Jones. These books challenged and changed my thinking. Their counsel saw me through many gut-wrenching decisions.

Get a Mentor

What’s the easiest way to do or become anything that you want?

Follow someone who’s already done it.  I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel of how to grow myself as a leader and how to grow my business. There were tons of people who had already done it. I just had to find some and emulate them.

I went on a search for a mentor. I selected a few of the most successful business people I knew and I asked them to formally mentor me. I was pleasantly surprised that my prospects agreed. In the end, my firm merged with one of my mentors.

I would say that by far, my greatest teacher has been experience, but I’m glad that I didn’t overlook leadership development, and neither should you. Get some training, get a reading list and get a mentor.  To lead others, you’ve got to first lead yourself. 

I would love your thoughts and feedback.

Wayne

 

Thanks for reading my post. I'm an attorney and Christian minister. I'm also a #keynote #speaker and an author. I write about business, life and faith, focusing on how to know God's vision for your life so that you may fulfill your purpose. You may connect further with me here or by clicking below!

 

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