Lift Others by Helping them Rise Up
Lone Ranger leaders are doomed to fail.
Recruiting, retaining, and developing the best talent is central to every organization’s success. Furthermore, people of influence constantly raise the game of those around them.
High potential leaders develop other leaders.
Two reasons people don’t grow:
First, past successes formulate, establish, and solidify leadership attitudes and behaviors. Everyone slips into the trap of repeating the past.
Second, they think they already know; they know too much. You can’t pour knowledge into a full cup.
Knowing and repeating are useful but they choke growth.
- Occur when people are stretched, challenged, and feel uncertain.
- Emerge when old patterns fail.
- Telling seldom creates growth.
- Need and inadequacy open the mind to learning.
Develop others by creating moments that stretch their capability or capacity.
Strategic disadvantage creates high growth environments.
5 leadership development tips:
- Lift others higher by giving them opportunities to rise up.
- Give challenging opportunities that stretch.
- Support but don’t hover. Never let people feel you’ve left them out in the cold. But, always let them grapple and find their own solutions.
- Watch frustration levels. Step in before frustration dominates, if they don’t come for help sooner.
- Don’t help when they come for help. Helping them help themselves instills confidence.
The people you work to develop may resist you, especially if they lack confidence. They’ll rise to the point of discomfort and back away or run. Learn how they deal with their uncertainty and discomfort.
Some need time to sort things out, give them a little space. Others need a cheerleader. Still others respond to in-your-face, “get going,” approaches.
In all cases, developing others is leadership’s greatest opportunity.
How can leaders create environments where leaders are developed?
What experiences were your greatest growth moments?
Learning, practicing and competing in golf is a great way to overcome the two growth limitations listed and practice the five developmental traits, while building personal and professional networks while improving health
I’m in Bruce, I’m going take up golf! 🙂
Use the game as a real leadership and organizational developmental tool. It’s sooo much more than a boondoggle is you extract it’s lessons and skills.
Good Luck. Remember – Leadership Lesson #1 from golf, the ball is not the target. Leaders, remember to stay focused on the real target, the hole, the ball is the great distractor. What are your distractors?
Leaders, IMHO, have to have an insatiable appetite for communication. It is impossible to help someone grow until you understand where their weaknesses. How do you find that out ? By creating an environment where it is not only OK to pop in and have someone say “hey Larry the team has gotten to a point where we have several choices; I’m pretty sure I know what to do (if I am left to my demise) but I’d like to walk through it with you to see if you can spot something I missed.” You want your team to do this sort of thing often. Because it exposes how they think, what their values are, how they leverage skills and skill centers, and how they position impact on clients.
You are not going to find any of that on a resume or in a performance review. You must derive leadership potential through collaboration and trust. You must evaluate if they can integrate your mission, vision, values into an action plan that achieves your organizational goals.
Much goes into all this but you certainly can determine if their team members have a common purpose where each of them can utilize their skills and have enough autonomy to execute their responsibilities, and when small successes are apparent they receive public recognition. If this environment is actually present you will have your employees endorsement. This makes “Focusing On The Outcome ….. A Client Endorsement” significantly more probable
As a younger person (27 yo) I agree you learn through adversity. Over the past 4 years I have had a lot of difficulties (as well as amazing things) in my personal and professional life and would absolutely agree that these challenges are what made me who I am today and helped me develope hugely as a person.
But I also believe a leader or manager must know where a individual is coming from before they create a ‘situation that stretches them to their capabilty’. Everyone has different capacities to manage stress – and a challenge in a work enviroment can have irreparable damage to an individual if they are at their capacity for reasons outside of work.
I think leaders can create environments where leaders are developed by thinking others are more important. We need to think for integrative development rather than individual development. It comes only when we are open, sensitive, selfless and unbiased. But when this is not possible then one needs to think to empower oneself. There are cultures where people believe in unethical development. In such environments, honest and meritorious people usually either do not stay, or do not creatively contribute. I also believe that you need to envision your future down the line for at least one decade. when you find yourself not on satisfying position, it is the right time to take decision. The problem occurs and becomes more complex, when you do not take timely decisions. I strongly believe the growth moments come when we seek growth. It is not automatic process.
I agree that ” Knowing everything” beforehand attitude is the killing element. It does not allow you to “Unlearn”. So, people need to get rid of such attitude to learn new skills.
In the organizations, when people lack competence, they might resist your development and ideas. They even cloud your development. It is because they seem threatened by your success. And actually these people are liability unless they believe in developing confidence among themselves. The interesting thing about incompetent people is that, they spread more rumors and propaganda than anybody else.
We all have different psychological types. My greatest growth experiences came when I was challenged to act “out of type” for prolonged periods. I am a natural visionary and feelings type. My most uncomfortable times were learning to deal with present day realities and attention to detail with lots of minute facts when dealing with delivering high level projects. Going through the discomfort and sticking with it was tough but transformational. Being able to flex between both is a great strength.
Leaders need to understand why there is discomfort and understanding psychological types can help them to guide their team through their discomfort.
Great post Dan – understanding and transforming discomfort is key.
“you can’t pour water in a full cup”… how very true. There is only so much you can do with someone who believes they are an expert and have nothing else to learn.
Many times I have ran into these kinds of people it’s often pride that has stopped then growing. A fear of being vunrible and defending their ego.
Have them play golf. The game is perfect for reducing the size an any ego, promoting change, growth and development.
In a hierarchy a person will rise to the level of his (or her) incompetence; the Peter Principle. In reality most leaders usually never get to that point, given our mobile society and 5-years-at-a-job mindset. On the other hand, some achieve incompetent greatness from their date of hire. I think we all know those. Being a leader and knowing how to lead are two different things. It’s been my experience that an effective leader learns to delegate.. and to understand the concept of delegation a leader has to understand their subordinates’ capabilities… the utilization and exploitation of their natural talents and learned skills. If the goal is to shoot the enemy from 500 yards away, an Army squad leader doesn’t tell the soldier with the pistol to do it but rather puts the soldier trained in using a sniper rifle on the job.
I think you were right on with these points, Mr. Dan, as steps into keeping subordinates engaged in the job and goals. But I would include as a preamble the need for a leader to have enough behavioral science skills to determine strengths and weaknesses in order to fine tune (training and motivation) and to apply it all strategically to achive a goal or to get a job done. And you are correct… each person needs a different aproach. It’s also good for a leader to find that “leader” within the workgroup and worry less about that person wanting your job but rather focusing their natural abilities in being “you” when you are not around. Thus is the science of leadership.