Recently, I was on a full flight traveling to an event. There was a school band on the flight that included teens of all ages. Though it was evident that some of them had traveled on an airplane before, it was clearly the first time for several others. As I always do, I looked out the window as we shot up into the bright big blue sky and watched tiny little monopoly houses fade away.
For me, this was just another flight to another city for another event. But for the girl sitting next to me, this was a much different experience. She was in awe as she took pictures of the clouds and the skyline through the window. She flipped through the safety manual, looked around at other passengers up and down the plane, and frequently scrolled through the pictures she had just taken on her phone. This entire experience was a brand new one for her, and she was taking in everything she possibly could along the way.
Leaders who are new to the leadership journey might find some commonalities with this wide-eyed and eager girl. The unique blend of intimidation and excitement is one that even the most experienced leaders know all too well, but it is especially real to those at the outset of their journey. While some seasoned leaders are like experienced travelers who are long-accustomed to the flying experience, other leaders are just relieved that they made it to the gate on time. No matter where you find yourself on your leadership journey, one thing is true—you are further along than when you first began.
A call to leadership is a call to be equipped. In most cases, you will only go as far as you prepared yourself to go, and because of that, taking time to invest in yourself and your own leadership is a critical part of the journey.
Here are three reasons why leaders should invest in leadership training:
1. Leaders are learners.
Training gives us the opportunity to learn from other leaders who might be further down the road. They have seen things. They have heard things. They have felt things. They have tacit knowledge that is invaluable and can only be attained through real-world experience. When we base our leadership strategies and decisions solely on our own understanding, we only limit ourselves. But when we take time to glean the wisdom that is a product of years (and maybe even decades) of real-life experience, we raise the ceiling of our own leadership.
2. Leaders are stewards.
God has gifted each of us with abilities and talents that are unique and specific to us. Anything and everything we have been given by God is ours for a reason. God did not just “happen” to give us these gifts—he entrusted them to us. And He expects us to steward them well. In this sense, leadership is stewardship. We are responsible to do everything we can to sharpen our swords and train for battle.
3. Leaders are investors.
At the end of the day, our leadership is for the benefit of others. We don’t just lead ourselves—we lead other people. In order for us to maximize the return on the investment that we make in others, we must ensure the investment is a rich and strong one, and that only happens through developing ourselves into the kinds of leaders who make good investments. After all, healthy things grow.
If you’re looking for a way to be equipped for leadership, consider attending one of Lifeway’s You Lead events or Women’s Leadership Forum. At these events, you’ll receive real-life application from experts and have the opportunity to choose from various breakouts sessions so that you can customize your leadership experience to wherever God is calling you.
Catherine Inman is the Event Project Coordinator for Women’s Leadership Training Events at Lifeway Christian Resources. Prior to her current role, she served as Girl’s Ministry Director at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, TN and Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, GA . She also was a missionary in Europe, Africa, and Asia serving in various ministries. Catherine is passionate about biblical literacy and equipping women to reach their full potential in Christ. She aspires to minister to ladies, while cultivating rawness and vulnerability. Catherine enjoys spontaneous road trips, conversations with friends over a cup of coffee, spending time exploring nature, and watching sports!