You can only say that your organization is growing and leading towards the achievement of your goals when your people are growing. By growing, I mean being the next leaders that can help you carry the load…or carry a greater load in order to make things easier for all of you and make your success much nearer.
An effective leader can produce other leaders from his team. Otherwise, he is merely a guide that only directs his team towards somewhere he is not even sure of going, and nothing more. A good leader takes responsibilities, has strength of character, and is an effective communicator. He is an adviser, a mentor, a listener, and a friend all rolled into one. Who cannot develop better persons when you possess all these qualities?
Some leaders, as they call themselves, cannot develop other leaders usually because of their negative mentality. They see their people as hindrances for their personal success. They think, If I train my people to be better, they might turn out to be better than I am. These kinds of leader see leadership as competition instead of cooperation between them and their people. With this concept of leadership, it is no wonder why the team isn’t growing and succeeding.
Either this or some leaders are just incapable of training their people to be potential leaders. In this case, you might want to assess yourself again if you are one effective leader. Those who are can train and develop other leaders.
Let me quote Peter Drucker as he said, “No executive has ever suffered because his people were strong and effective.” Yes, there really is no harm in bringing out the best in your people. In fact, it is also you who benefits as you get brilliant minds to help you make decisions, organize the team, and develop more leaders…again.
Therefore, before you really consider yourself an effective leader and a winner, you should be able to impart your wisdom, share your skills and abilities, and mold people to be as effective and successful as you are, if not better.
Bringing Out the Leader-Developer in You
Create an appropriate environment, nurture your people, and train them with the best knowledge and skills you know. Before you know it, there they are…your future successors! Remember what John Maxwell said, “There is no success without a successor.” Here are some great methods to help your people develop their leadership potentials.
1. Be a good listener. Good leaders are good listeners. They do not depend solely on their knowledge, but they give their people chances to express their viewpoints and they listen to them. Listening to your people adds success both to you and to their development. When you listen as they express their ideas and opinions, you actually are giving them a chance to contribute a solution, especially during problem solving and decision-making. Each time you hear out their ideas and give them credit, they will feel valued, and they will be encouraged to keep communicating with you. They will begin to develop greater judgment and understanding on serious matters.
2. Be concerned. A great leader must be genuinely concerned with the well-being of his team. This concern shows itself by taking responsibility and defending his team if things do go wrong, by helping out those in difficulties, and by showing concern for those working extra hours.
Look out for them even outside the work. Although you do not have control over their personal lives, you must show concern for them about this aspect too. Things that seem to be of no importance to you might seem extremely critical to them. You must be able to empathize with them.
3. Learn to motivate. Leaders can articulate their vision and ideals to others, convincing them of the value of their ideas. They can inspire people to work towards common goals and to achieve things they never thought they could do.
Learn how to motivate people. Explore the different needs that motivate people and recognize that the same rewards don’t motivate everyone. Listen carefully to others to learn what motivates them.
However, do not confuse motivation with manipulation. Motivation occurs when you persuade others to take an action in their own best interests, while manipulation is persuading others to take an action that is primarily for your benefit. Leaders and motivators are winners; manipulators are losers who produce resentment and dispute. Become a motivator, lead your people, and never manipulate them.
4. Help others succeed. Leaders empower others and go out of their way to help others achieve their full potential, thereby benefiting the organization. Give them a boost by mentoring individuals you feel are able to assume leadership roles. Share with them your knowledge and skills you know will help them become better individuals.
5. Challenge them! Make their jobs challenging, exciting, and meaningful. Make them feel that they are individuals in a great team. People need meaningful work, even if it is tiring and unpleasant. They need to know that it is important and necessary for the survival of the organization. Some employees or workers who are given complicated jobs feel flattered and valued, thinking you trust them to do such challenging tasks.
6. Reward good behavior. Although a certificate, letter, or a thank you may seem small, they can be powerful motivators. The reward should be specific and prompt. Do not say, “…for doing a good job.” Cite the specific action that made you believe it was a good job. In addition, give guidance and assistance to your people when they need it. We all make mistakes and need help to achieve a particular goal.