Andy Stanley delivered a message at Leadercast 2014 about being a “Beyond You Leader.” The following excerpt of the talk has re-inspired me consider how I invest in others and what consistently holds me back from doing it.
Here’s some key quotes from Stanley’s message.
“I don’t have everything to fill your leadership cup. There’s not enough in me to fill your cup. Our responsibility is to empty our cup not because it’s all there is to know, but because it’s what I know.”
When I empty my cup, “they have the advantage of knowing everything I know about what I’ve asked them to do.”
“You are smarter than you think you are. You know more than you think you know.”
“If your leadership isn’t all about you, it will live beyond you.”
So what is holding you and I back from emptying our cups. Here are fifteen common reasons/excuses:
- I’m not the boss
- I’m not a leader
- I don’t have anything to say or offer
- I’m not smart
- They are smarter than me
- I don’t have time
- They won’t listen
- I’m not going to be here long
- That is someone else’s job
- If I pour into them, my job is at risk
- I can’t possibly fill their cup
- I’m too young
- I’m too old
- They’ve been here longer
- I don’t know as much as them
Some of these are more valid than others, but I believe Stanley’s “empty your cup” philosophy squashes most, if not all of them.
The key principles to being a “empty your cup” leader are…
- Start with humility and trust
- Serve them – Emptying your cup is not about you, it is about them
- Add value – Send an article, share a quote, give a book. Offer things from your cup that add value to others
- Don’t lecture/preach – If you follow the previous three principles, you won’t likely do this; however, it can be tempting to get on a soapbox in your enthusiasm to empty your cup.
What is holding your back from emptying your cup?
Who will you invest in and start emptying your cup?