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.

  1. 70% from tough jobs.
  2. 20% from people (mostly the boss).
  3. 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:

  1. Put them in high-challenge roles.
  2. Assign them to a short-term task force.
  3. Give real-time feedback.
  4. Provide them with coaches and mentors.
  5. 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:

  1. Success or failure must both be possible.
  2. Emerging leader must have full charge.
  3. Must work with a large variety of people.
  4. Must have real pressures and a deadline.
  5. 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:

  1. Too little preparation.
  2. Confusion about results.
  3. Misalignment of strengths with tasks.
  4. Meddling by senior leaders.
  5. 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?