Many organizations, communities and families fail to tap their highest potential. Real leadership comes down to this- What are you doing now to develop and nurture the people around you? Do you believe in their talent? Are you willing to invest in someone today?
Leaders who develop potential leaders multiply their effectiveness. It’s not enough, though, to simply recruit the best qualified leaders.
Leaders have the highest calling to develop those team members into even better leaders.
The founder of Firestone Tires, Harvey Firestone said, “The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.”
Allowing people to spread their wings means different things for different people, but it boils down to,
“How can I help cultivate their talent/potential and continue to encourage them to make a positive impact on the organization, community and family?
Great leaders touch the lives of other people. They take ownership of employee’s talent and help people make the most of themselves.
Leadership is all about growing people and developing future leaders.
Remember, nobody is going to give great leader to you. Leaders aren’t born with superior skills. They are nurtured, developed, trained, supported, encouraged, compensated, complimented and respected by you and by other mentors. I’m asking you:
Have you made a total commitment to the people around you?
If you really want create a culture of leadership development, here are some suggestions for you:
Lead by Example first
Be visible about your own need to learn and develop and share what you learning. Embrace vulnerability. Great leaders are never more powerful than when they are shown to be in a learning mode.
Reinforce the value of growth
Go beyond the baseline conversation about company goals and strategy. Ask the people you lead, what they want to accomplish and what they feel their gaps are. When someone completes an assignment, celebrate both the outcome and the progress.
Build infrastructure to support talent development
Leaders should be expected to coach and develop their people. At a minimum, everyone knows what areas they need to improve upon, and for those with particularly high potential, leaders need to develop career tracks that give people a sense of where they can go inside the organization.
Reinforce the company’s cultural values
People should be able to find a link with their everyday tasks and responsibilities to the values in the organization. People need to understand why their contribution is so important.
Great leaders understand that everyday problems become opportunities for real world learning and development.
According to Elizabeth Bryant, senior director of talent management at Southwest Airlines, the leadership-development process reflects the company culture. “It goes beyond formal training and is part of everyday life at Southwest, where employees at every level are exposed to leaders so they get to see how the leaders think,” she says. “Even informal mentoring and exposure to company executives helps to broaden people’s perspectives and stimulate their passion about the job.”
My question to you is-Are you leaving a legacy of leadership development in your organization, community and your family? What are you doing for others?