“Everyone benefits when a leader gets better.”

A few months ago, Bill Hybels said this at the Global Leadership Summit. Does this challenge you to think “How am I getting better? Are other people benefiting because of my leadership?”

“No one stumbles into righteousness.” You don’t become a better leader by accident. Many times we shy away from taking the next steps to become better leaders because it feels overwhelming. It doesn’t have to feel that way, though. Let’s break it down. Here are five practical next steps you can take to become a better leader.

  1. Read more every day. One of the best ways to become a better leader is to read more—whether it’s books, articles, or newspapers. If you feel strained for time, maybe there are other things you need to give up—like ditching your Monday night TV habit and picking up a book or Bible Plan instead.
  2. Put down your phone. Nobody likes to feel ignored. Whether it’s with your friends, kids, or coworkers, choose to put down your email or Instagram and have an intentional, face-to-face conversation.
  3. Lead yourself first. If you lead a LifeGroup and you want to go deeper spiritually, you have to lead yourself there first. It’s impossible—or hypocritical, at least—to encourage others to give, serve, and read the Bible more if you’re not doing it yourself.
  4. Do something for someone else. The best leaders are compassionate and selfless. Nothing breaks us of our self-centered habits better than loving someone else through our actions. Buy coffee for a friend or take someone in your LifeGroup out to lunch. No one forgets generosity, and they’ll be inspired to carry it on.
  5. Find a mentor. Some of the best leaders I know grew in their leadership capacity by having a mentor relationship. Find someone you respect who is at least ten years older than you and ask them out to coffee to learn from them.

This content has been adapted from Life Church. Original content can be found here.