5 Essentials for Developing Remarkable Leaders
It hurts when those around you don’t believe in you. Leaders sell themselves short when they undervalue those around them.
The first step toward leadership is believing you matter; believing in someone else is the second.
The greatest opportunity of leadership, after developing yourself, is developing those who aspire to lead.
3 enemies of development:
The enemies of development are personal ease, coddling by others, and education without experience.
Incremental growth feels great. Radical growth hurts.
McCall, Lombardo and Eichinger’s survey of high-performing managers revealed the most effective way to develop others is to challenge them. 90% of development happens in real life, 10% from books and in classrooms.
- 70% from tough jobs.
- 20% from people (mostly the boss).
- 10% from courses and reading.
Bill Hybels offered five ways to develop leaders in his 2014 Global Leadership Summit presentation.
5 essentials for developing remarkable leaders:
- Put them in high-challenge roles.
- Assign them to a short-term task force.
- Give real-time feedback.
- Provide them with coaches and mentors.
- Offer them classroom courses and seminars.
The best way to develop emerging leaders is to put them in short-term high-challenge roles.
Growth requires you do what you have’t done before.
Hybels went on to describe five ways to design short-term tasks that develop leaders.
5 marks of developmental tasks:
- Success or failure must both be possible.
- Emerging leader must have full charge.
- Must work with a large variety of people.
- Must have real pressures and a deadline.
- End result must be evaluated by a senior leader.
Frustration in stretch-assignments is normal. Don’t help too quick. But, frustration that hampers performance indicates:
- Too little preparation.
- Confusion about results.
- Misalignment of strengths with tasks.
- Meddling by senior leaders.
- Not enough support.
Bonus: Lack of desire is a deal breaker.
What strategies do you employ to develop leaders?
What are the enemies of leadership development?
I once worked for an energy company (Board/ Annual General Meeting), more than 13 years – specialist team – as an art director for the visual Executive speech. The first year I was thrown into the icy water and learned to swim here! Within the first week I saw the first gray hair 🙂
Yes, to cope with a demanding task in a short time, one that you’ve never done before – which requires not only – but also promotes you. The desire is so strong to make it good in you – the best way… and the motivation grows with each new challenge. The fun factor also. It’s very nice to be a responsibility. The self-confidence grows. Unfortunately, I had no mentor, but was perhaps for my team a – and my team was closed behind me. That was a good time, I have learned a lot. Yes it grows with the tasks – I did not have time – to be afraid … I’m just going with with spunk on it! You would not believe what you can create anything … only with courage and love of work. Fascinating to grow into so …
Through your “Leadership-Freak-Blog” (training) … I remember particularly one today on:
What I already know – and have done – and what treasures I carry within me …
and all this at no extra training and no mentor … very fond memories!
I feel enriched today – also thanks to you Dan.
Joy is. Beate
Thanks Beate. I don’t think we would intentionally choose these experiences, but in some ways they make us. Thanks for sharing your story and best wishes for the future.
I am thinking about your statement “Lack of desire is a deal breaker.” Not to quibble or anything, but “Lack of desire CAN be a deal breaker” might be more realistic. As I look back on my own experience, I have always preferred to work in the background, backstage and out of the limelight. I have rarely enjoyed the burden of leadership. But despite my lack of desire, I have continually found myself in leadership positions and have had to learn how to do it. BONUS: I’m still learning. I think lack of commitment is the real deal breaker in leadership.
On another topic, I almost universally understand the visual that accompanies your posts. I love today’s picture (particularly how something ordinary like piano dampers, taken out of context, become an abstraction) but I seem to have missed how the visual relates to the topic. I hate to appear dense, but such details are important to me.
As always, Dan, your thoughts are a stimulating part of my morning ritual.
Thanks Steven. Great reading your comment. I really like the idea that lack of commitment is the deal breaker.
Regarding the image: I was thinking about interaction between two people and the music that creates. I confess that it’s quite a stretch.
I know this will sound like some Yogi Beraism but here goes. One enemy of development is Education before Education. Asking managers to understand or implement ideas they aren’t prepared to understand. Like teaching calculus before algebra. You can do it but it’s tough. You often end up with people following rote rules or scripts and not understanding the whys.
So making sure leaders have foundational knowledge is key. What that foundational knowledge is might up for debate, but that’s a good debate to have.
I start it here. You might enjoy.
Thanks Joe. Great add. It’s easy to forget what you know and assume others know too. Thanks for extending the conversation.
Dan, I like bimuse’s input “lack of desire”I see this more everyday, we need to develop responsibility at an early age so when the children mature they will develop and have the basic understanding needed to Lead.Not as simple as I stated but I think you get the idea. Cheers
Thanks Tim. Yes, I like Steven’s idea too. You’re right it’s not simple but I think you’ve done something right.
Inability to sustain leadership development is the fundamental root cause and my ultimate enemy as a designer – if we can’t sustain what we are about to offer, why are we doing it? Leadership development can’t be a check the box approach, the program or process needs to be aligned with individual development plans and objectives and needs to include an element of working with the one over one so whatever the individual is learning or using is followed up on continuously and worked into the desired outcomes for the individual. Often leadership development intitiatives take a one size fits all approach or become an event in an organization -not sustainable, nor is it value added for the individual, the team and ultimately the organization. As leaders of developing leaders we need to give up the need to rescue, fix, solve and save and let them learn while we support and coach – know when to shut up, when to direct, when to lead. Learning how to be vulnerable is a foundational skill. Hence why I love Lencioni’s work!
Thanks ou112jensen. Tons of great insights in your comment. The idea that we might start somthing that we can’t sustain is a very real possibility if we neglect developing leaders.
The other thing that stands out to me is the issue of vulnerability. It’s neglected but I think it’s an influence enhancer.
As I prepare my closest circle of influence (twin nieces 14, nephew 15, daughter 10) for another year of education I am often disheartened by their lack of enthusiasm with regards to their own growth potential as leaders. Two quotes I’m now adding to my list of encouraging short notes to them are ‘Incremental growth feels great. Radical growth hurts.’ and ‘Growth requires you do what you have’t done before.’ LOVE THIS! Leaders aren’t born they are made over time and with proven experience; and I for one appreciate your wisdom and gracious sharing!
Great article, thanks for posting. I was just considering the reverse angle – people believing in leaders – not for what they do, but why they do it.
Showing something of yourself as a leader was a lesson I learnt through experiences of not being terribly good at it to start with! I’ve just blogged about, a TED talk by Simon Sinek inspired me. I’d love to hear your thoughts too! (The blog is here if you’re interested…wp.me/p4MT6y-1G)
Developing future leaders is what leadership is all about, but it’s important to be a leader for yourself first and foremost.
Before developing future leaders:
1. Get a mentor.
2. Establish a vision for yourself.
3. Share your vision with mentor(s).
4. Set personal goals daily/weekly/monthly.
5. Walk your talk.
It’s important to show emerging leaders that you practice self-leadership. This is the only real way to show them how to value life-long learning.
Believe that you are one already and that you have the confidence and humility.Then , you start sowing the seeds of leadership to your followers or anyone you meet!. Be there for others and be willing to motivate others, trust and believe that they have the capability. Sometimes, its just a listening ear. See your efforts slowly mature and grow and flourish like plants in a garden. Never be so consumed by power, titles and money. Do it with sincerity and leave a good legacy !