Robert Glazer is a member of EO Boston and the CEO of Acceleration Partners, a leading independent affiliate management agency with 160 employees. Glazer has established himself as a leader who invests in his team and in the culture of his organization.
His company, Acceleration Partners, was honored with Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award, recognizing the Best Places to Work in 2019. He shared how to develop a “best place to work” in a recent Octane post. Here, he shares his thoughts on capacity building as a leadership strategy.
A pivotal moment in the entrepreneurial journey is when you make the decision to stop doing everything yourself, and start trusting, and training, others to step up and do more. For me, that point came in 2011, when our company, Acceleration Partners, was doing about $1 million in revenue and I joined EO. Though the company was growing, I was doing everything and was burnt out.
Acceleration Partners has grown 20 times larger in the eight years since. That exponential growth started when I realized that in order to build the business I wanted, I needed to push my limits and be the leader the business needed. I needed to build my capacity.
Capacity building is the method through which we seek, acquire and develop the skills necessary to consistently perform at a higher level in pursuit of our innate potential. It is the foundation of my leadership approach to building a world-class company and the core focus of my new book, Elevate: Push Beyond Your Limits and Unlock Success in Yourself and Others, which published last month and is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestseller.
As a leader, you set the tone for the entire organization. Whether you realize it or not, everybody is watching the way you lead. They want to see if are authentic, consistent and focused on the big picture. They also see if you are always repeating mistakes, losing your temper and cutting corners. If you are, you can expect the same behavior from others.
I have gone all-in on capacity building as a leadership strategy. A big part of this is showing my team my commitment to improving, inspiring them to grow and giving them both the framework and the support to improve. 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. Employees aren’t just raising their game at work—they’re running races, taking bucket list vacations and strengthening their most important relationships.
Capacity building focuses on the idea that if employees improve in one facet of life, they will improve in others. According to Glassdoor, 87 percent of employees expect their employer to support them in balancing work and life. As a leader, you can drive happier, more productive employees by helping them improve their lives outside of work.
Don’t just think of your employees as tools to achieving your business goals. Invest in them holistically, help them achieve their personal goals, and they will give you their best at work. By investing in capacity building as a leadership strategy, you will inspire others to be better, help them grow, and create a better outcome for both your business and employees.