3 Ways Leaders Invest in Themselves

 As a leader the most important investment you can make is an investment in yourself. You are the most precious asset you own. You can become anything you want provided you make the right investment.

“The only difference between who you are today and the person you will be in five years will come from the books you read and the people you associate with” – Charles Tremendous Jones

Taking time to invest in oneself is the foundation of effective leadership. Continuous investment in your development is the key to leadership greatness. Effective leaders invest in themselves in the following three ways.

  1. Leaders surround themselves with great people. Successful leaders surround themselves with other leaders. People who can challenge our thinking, our actions and our impact. People shape us as much as we shape them. Leaders ensure that they are shaped by people who have demonstrated their competence and character. You become like the people you spend your time with, so spend time with people you want to be more like.
  2. Leaders invest in reading great books. Learning is critical, it’s one of the most powerful levers we have to transform and change our lives. Books challenge our thinking they provide insight and establish a foundation for leadership action. It’s not about the quantity of books you read, it’s about the quality of what you read and the extent to which its applied to your life. Knowledge without action is useless.
  3. Leaders exercise and stay healthy. For leaders, being fit and healthy matters. The demands of leadership can be strenuous, as effective leadership requires you initiate action, manage your emotional response and deal with the constant barrage of issues and daily concerns. Therefore it’s essential that you prioritise the physical part of leading, that is keeping fit and staying healthy. Regular exercise and eating healthy is the best way to generate the energy required to sustain leadership. Research has shown that being fit has significant benefits including increased creativity, clear thinking, increased confidence and improved emotional control all necessary for effective leadership.

Investing in yourself is an investment in your future leadership success. Leaders make room for what’s most important and personal growth and learning is critical for sustained leadership success.

  • Are you investing in yourself?
  • Who do you surround yourself with and what is their impact on you?
  • Are you applying what you’re reading?
  • Do you have a personal growth plan?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/wbenoist Bill Benoist

    Hey George,

    You really stepped outside the box with #3 (Leaders Exercise and Stay Healthy). I cannot help but wonder if you were reading my mind .

    Seriously, I’ve not seen anyone mention this before in relationship to leadership but I recently recognized the same thing. I’ve been doing all the right things (books, MA in Leadership, associating with awesome individuals), but I recognized I was failing to take care of myself. Weight was coming on gradually and I wasn’t being real active. At the time I stated thinking, “this is not very good leadership”. I’m on a course to correct that now, but it was a nice surprise to see this topic come out.

    • http://www.georgeambler.com/ George Ambler

      Hi Bill,

      Your experience is the same as mine. :) I put on a few pounds and found myself running out of the energy I needed to accomplish my personal goals. Have been back at gym playing squash, doing cardio and some weight training for the past six months. This has made a wold of difference. Feeling good and have a lot more energy.

      As they say healthy body = healthy mind! So true!

  • http://ownthedeckbuildthepyramid.com Stephen Houston

    “manage your energy not your time”, a powerful metaphor and mind-frame to lead by. Refreshing to see this post too as leadership is not an intellectual exercise, but rather the ability to “breathe life into others”. What better way to do it than by having a low heart-rate from exercising (calm and engaged) and a clean mind from all the oxygen inhale and CO2 exhale from a vigorous workout. I too value a healthy active lifestyle. Keep up the workouts and the great posts!