The Law of Contribution – Growing Yourself Enables You to Grow Others
If you’re not doing something with your life, it doesn’t matter how long it is! – John Maxwell
This law is all about giving. This is Maxwell’s way of stating the whole purpose of growing and developing ourselves is so that we can help others achieve great things and, ultimately, do something significant with our lives.
Below are 3 ways I contribute to the growth of others.
One of the toughest things to learn during the first few years in a leadership role was resisting the need to do, fix, and control everything. After all, my promotion was not based on leadership potential but on production and technical knowledge. I was used to doing my own thing and just worrying about my work.
As I started growing in leadership, I began to understand I could accomplish a lot more by letting go. By allowing my staff to take over the creation, development, and implementation of projects, I was not only helping them learn about the business but also freeing more of my time.
Relinquishing control means:
- Others’ ways of doing things also solve the problem.
- Others’ ideas can be better than mine.
- Others’ learn better when they are in charge.
Early in my leadership role I noticed how I wasn’t helping the team by just giving out answers and orders. The problems kept coming to me!
As I changed my approach to asking my staff for feedback, their ideas and their understanding of the problem, I was able to see my workload diminish. The staff started solving problems on their own!
- Helping others’ share their perspective.
- Helping others’ with problem solving.
- Helping others’ gain independence
I don’t like titles; never liked them; never will. As I started leading others, I was very cognizant of not using titles to describe any of the staff members or myself. We were all actuaries no matter the years of experience or reporting structure.
This approach helped the team dynamics allowing them to think about me as one of the rest instead of their boss. This opened the door to many thoughtful conversations, passionate dialogue, and trust. Everything was fair game!
Title Indifference is:
- Meeting others on the same playing field.
- Knowing others follow you, not the title.
- Valuing others as much as you.
“Before you become a leader, success is all about growing you. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” Jack Welch