I had the pleasure of spending the weekend on this beautiful chunk of granite just outside of Brevard, NC. Over the course of two days I was examined for an AMGA rock climbing credential called Single Pitch Instructor. The process of receiving this training and certification has been an investment of time, energy, and personal finances... and I can say without a doubt that it has been worth every single bit of investment.
But why do we do it? Why do leaders commit significant resources to their/our personal development? Is it selfish? I suppose it could be. It really depends upon why we seek to develop personally.
I do know this- servant leaders are committed to personal development and growth for the benefit of those whom they lead. They develop a deep well of skill, passion, and energy from which they can draw as they serve others through their influence.
Servant leadership requires a heart attitude that is oriented outwards- towards the good of the community. But servant leadership also requires that we invest in developing the skills and fitness we need, as individuals, to serve through leadership. We can't serve from an empty well and expect for people to be nurtured.
As part of the assessment I had the opportunity to guide Paul, from Austin, TX, on some classic Looking Glass eyebrow climbing. He daringly pulled his iPhone out at the top of one of the climbs and snapped this photo.