Have you ever wondered why some people are able to accomplish more in the same day, month or year? While others struggle to make progress or fall short of their most ambitious goals, these high-achievers are constantly hitting their targets.
Those people are not more talented than you, nor do they have some other advantage, they have simply become a better version of themselves. They are committed to continuous improvement, they are always building their capacity.
Capacity building is the method by which we seek, acquire and develop the skills and abilities to consistently perform at a higher level in pursuit of our innate potential. It is an incremental process of intentional improvement in four areas: spiritual, intellectual, physical and emotional capacity.
Capacity building isn't just about improving ourselves. When leaders build their capacity, they inspire the people they lead to do the same. It's the subject of my new book, Elevate: Push Beyond Your Limits and Unlock Success in Yourself and Others, and has been the driving force of our company's award-winning culture.
The result is an organization where everybody is committed to improving, growing as the company grows, and engaged in their work. Here's why capacity building works as a leadership strategy, and how you can use it:
Raise the bar.
As a leader, you set the tone for the entire organization. Whether you realize it or not, everybody is watching the way you lead--if you are authentic, consistent and focused on doing the work to move the business forward. They also see if you are always repeating mistakes, losing your temper and cutting corners. If so, you can expect the same behavior from others.
I have gone all in on capacity building as a leadership strategy at our company. One way I do this is to share with my team what I am personally trying to improve, share my personal goals with the company each year, and note which ones I fall short of, and how I will adjust.
By focusing on building my capacity, and sharing the results with my team, I've noticed others at the company are motivated to improve as well. Not only do we make our leadership team's professional goals and priorities for the business visible to everybody in the company, but we also have a Slack channel where employees can share their personal goals each year, and hold each other accountable. When you build your capacity, you elevate the people around you.
Understand what's most important.
A key facet of capacity building is that the ideal result is different for each person-- or each organization. The objective isn't to set and achieve goals that will look impressive to others; they know what they want most and align their goals and daily actions toward that purpose.
A key part of building my own capacity was discovering my core purpose--"find a better way, and share it"--and ensuring that my short and long-term goals pursued that purpose. Developing that clarity changed my life, and it improved my ability to set a long-term vision for Acceleration Partners and how we show up in the world.
We are closing our three year plan this year--our Vivid Vision 2020, which was about more than just financial goals--and we have achieved nearly all our big picture goals due to this focus and clarity. It also gave me focus and discipline needed to lead the company more effectively.
Happier, more engaged employees.
Perhaps the biggest benefit when leaders build their capacity is the impact on employees throughout their organization. Capacity building isn't just about pushing your employees to perform better at work--it's about holistic improvement.
Employees want to work for organizations that help them have a life outside work; according to a Glassdoor survey, 87 percent of employees expect their employer to support them in balancing work and life commitments. As a leader, you should support your employees goals outside of work, and give them the inspiration, time and guidance they need pursue them.
If you want engaged, high-performing employees, help them build a great life both inside and outside of work. People who are fulfilled and who have built their capacity will be more focused, energized and productive--and they'll be grateful for the inspiration and support of their journey.
Capacity building isn't about doing more--it's about doing more of the right things. By focusing on what you want most and building your capacity, you'll raise your game as a leader, help your employees achieve new personal and personal heights and you your business will reach new heights.
Everything you want for your company and yourself is right there in front if you, you just need to take the first step.