We admire pioneers who are not afraid to blaze the trail of success, create their own blueprint for progress, and forge through adversity to breakthrough barriers.
However, nine times out of ten, they have not shared their success with others.
According to John C. Maxwell, nothing of significance that adds value to people’s lives is ever achieved by an individual acting alone (2010).
So Now What?
Recall the people you know who have achieved noteworthy success. Who did they equip to help them achieve their success?
Take a look at a success story. Jennifer Wenzke is the leader and the founder of So Now Network. So Now is a dynamic alliance of “Professional and Executive Women Striving to Empower others to Unite and Raise Up into their Unique Greatness!”
When leaders found organizations, sometimes the ideas are vivid but the name of the organization is not. That’s what happened to Wenzke. Her organization “So Now” was actually born without a name. Wenzke thought it would be a good idea to gather a group of women together at a local country club to network, connect, have fun and generally to help each other. At the end of the event, she said,
“Thanks for coming!” The reply back from attendees was, “Wait, can’t we do this again?”
To name her new-found group, Wenzke chose the name of the facility Stone Oak. She called her little group Stone Oak Network of Women.
But that name seemed too long, so she simply made an acronym of that name and changed it to So Now.
Growing Influence And Challenges
As the first anniversary of the group’s founding approached, Wenzke challenged those in attendance (35-40) to bring at least 100 women to the event. She equipped them with a challenging goal. And the result; over 180 women showed up!
As a leader,Wenzke knows the importance of equipping her women with challenges. She continues to equip the women as the network grows.
Here are a few highlights and results of the equipment(s) of the women of So Now:
- During year-one, the network successfully implemented two projects.
- Year 2 saw the release of a mentoring program.
- In year 3, the network started growing rapidly.
o The announcement of a scholarship program was introduced
o So Now for Men (Snow Men) started
o So Now expanded to include lunchtime meetings
o So Now formed a Board of Inspiration
This is one example of how she implements equipping.
Equipping For Success
All great leaders have great teams that are equipped for success. But what happens when you are a new leader who is unknown?
“Does this mean that if you have a team that does not know you; or you have a flailing team, that you cannot equip your team for success?”
No it doesn’t! In 2007, I was the newly elected president of Sigma Alpha Pi (SAP), for the local chapter of the National Society of Leadership & Success. I had never held a position of this magnitude before.
I knew one person on the team and for the exception of that one person, no one else knew me. Because I was so passionate about SAP, what SAP represented, I knew I wanted to make a difference for the organization’s betterment.
But, where was I to start?
I started with my team. I knew one thing for sure, if I equipped the team for success, they in turn would want to carry out the organizations mission and vision.
Did I know how to equip this team for success? No, but it didn‘t take me long to figure it out. The team was already in place therefore, I made a commitment to myself and to each person, to get to know them.
As a result, I got to know every team member personally. We matched every person and their unique attributes to roles and responsibilities that would enhance overall success. Then, each person made a personal commitment to invest his or her talents in SAP.
Be Wise, Recognize
Another important equipping tool is recognition. Recognition is very important to everyone, and it is a powerful tool for leaders to use. SAP would not have reached a level of success that year if it had not been for this amazing team! Therefore, I recognized every Board member for his or her personal attributes and contributions.
SAP measured their success by the goals they accomplished:
- Increased membership
- One hundred percent participation in leadership training
- Choosing a community organization to make a donation.
At the end of my term as president, the SAP team was equipped to carry its legacy forward.
Leaders, are you dedicated to equipping your Board? Is your Board equipped to handle the charge of responsibility? Is your Board equipped to meet challenges with courage and creativity? I would love to hear your comments.
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Debra Olejownik is a consultant with DJC Core Consulting, LLC
She helps clients identify comprehensive solutions to problems that inspires change
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