The biggest challenge for new leaders is shifting their minds from doing the work themselves to doing it through others. This is why the most important job of every leader is to grow people; leaders deliver results through others. How do leaders grow people?
Good question, here are 6 ways to do it:
- Coaching and mentoring;
- Giving stretch assignments and responsibilities;
- Know your people;
- Inspire them;
- Hold people accountable;
- Always be learning.
Let’s look at each below…
Coaching and mentoring
To me, this is the most powerful way leaders develop others. There are many types of leadership, but the leadership style that develops others is coaching; period. To develop others, you have to act like their coach and mentor; not their boss. Some people are more apt to coach and mentor than others, which could prove challenging to those that don’t and are inclined to a commanding leadership style.
Giving stretch assignments and responsibilities
Stretch assignments are a cornerstone of a strong employee development plan. Stretch assignments provide opportunities that are beyond the scope of team members’ job descriptions. These assignments nudge employees up to higher performance levels, giving them a chance to prove themselves in new ways. Stretch assignments are affirming, engaging, and resume-building.
Know your people
Leaders with a high degree of integrity make it a top priority to know their people in order to grow their people. They spend considerable time pouring into the lives of others through mentoring and by exposing them to new responsibilities that will stretch their development. Leaders who fall short with their commitments to growing and improving their people will likely fail at forming lasting relationships that lead to results.
Why is it important for leaders to inspire? Inspirational Leadership inspires action, significantly raises individual and team performance levels and ignites creativity and audacious innovation. It truly unlocks latent potential by tapping into our inner motivation and values and inspiring people to follow their passion and move towards ambitious goals.
Hold people accountable
Holding others accountable starts with you; holding yourself accountable first. Setting clear expectations, setting the example, provide consistent feedback, setting goals, follow through consistently; all these actions will help you hold your team accountable.
Always be learning
“Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.” – Tagore
Just because you’re a leader doesn’t mean you know everything and have all the answers. You must also keep learning, it goes both ways. Leaders are learners, and those that don’t keep learning will quickly stagnate.
Leaders create new leaders. Thus, they are remembered by how they impacted others; by the success of the people they impacted. As Jack Welch said, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”