What separates your company from any other company? The people do.
The people at your company are not the same people that work at your competitors, your customers, or your vendors. Regardless of the widget you sell, your people are what really makes your company stand out. If we agree on that statement, and I hope we do, doesn’t it make sense then to help your people be the best they can be?
Doesn’t it make sense to share everything you know, provide every reasonable opportunity for development, making leaders out of your followers?
That being said, I recognize that not everyone has the skills or desire to be a leader. There is nothing wrong with being a great follower. Leaders can’t lead if no one is following. However, even among followers, there are people who can lead, no matter their current role, responsibility or title. And, some of those people can also be future organizational leaders.
What separates the leaders at your company from any other company? The investment you make in them.
Developing other leaders is one of the key responsibilities of a leader. In fact, in his book Developing The Leaders Around You, John Maxwell wrote,
“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.”
Even leaders need a leader to take an interest in their development. While there are many companies that recognize the need to develop future leaders, it is an unfortunate fact that many organizations overlook the need for continued development of their current leadership.
“The success of any organization is largely dependent on how its top leader inspires and leads other leaders.”
Tucker goes on to provide these keys to creating an environment for leaders to rise to greatness:
- Important things get done, and done in a powerful way, when great executives create an environment where they capitalize on every ounce of talent of the leaders they lead.
- They quickly rid themselves of “leaders in training” — executives who are just waiting for the real leader to tell them what to do next. Instead, they seek out people who have inherent leadership ability.
- The effective leader of leaders looks to see whether his or her co-leaders have a big enough vision for their areas of responsibility. Great leaders know that the size of the vision determines the magnitude of the outcome — and the smaller the vision, the smaller the outcomes.
- The effective leader of leaders steps back and allows co-leaders to “own” their decisions for their organizations or departments. The hardest thing for many leaders to do is to let go of control. The most effective leaders, however, prefer to invest their time preparing their senior managers to take control.
- Great leaders understand that by positioning the leaders they lead for success, they help guarantee the success of the organization.
A good leader not only surrounds herself with other good leaders, but also commits time and energy to help those leaders become the very best leaders. As Steve Farber wrote in “Greater Than Yourself,”
“Truly great leaders in life become so because they cause others to be greater than themselves.”
How do you help your leaders become great leaders? How does your organization help its executive leadership continue their growth? What human resource development practices helps differentiate your company? I’d love to hear your story!
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