as new articles are posted

imgPosts RSS imgComments RSS

Archives For Leadership Development

When you come across a young leader who shows great potential, it’s easy to see them for what they could be.  We imagine what a great communicator they’re going to be, we envision the influence they’re going to have with our team, we anticipate how they’re going to take on significant responsibility.

But the key phrase is “going to,”  While they show great leadership potential, they’re not there yet.

They’ll fail to communicate the right thing at the right time, they’ll fail to gain early credibility with your team, or they’ll fail to follow through with an assigned task.

The key phrase is “they will fail.”  I want you to think about something:  It may be your failure to tolerate failure that’s causing the failure of your leadership development efforts.

Continue Reading…

Why are you developing leaders?  Sounds like a ridiculous question.  But your answer may reveal why you’re not getting the results you want in growing your leadership pipeline.

So, let me ask again, why are you developing leaders?  There are basically two responses to the question.

Some will say, “I’m developing leaders simply because we don’t have enough of them!”  This is the most common reason organizations revive their leadership development efforts. They feel the pain of a leadership shortage and need to fill the gaps.  Their current leaders can’t get everything done, their span of care is unhealthy, and the organization’s mission is suffering due to a lack of leaders.  The motivating factor for leadership development is the pain of a leadership shortage.

However when we’re driven by pain our tendency is to pour short-term efforts into building a new batch of leaders with the hopes of solving the problem as quickly as possible.  Organizations with this mentality find themselves in a yoyo cycle. They focus on leadership development for a season, have inconsequential results and then neglect it for a season.  The pain resurfaces so they refocus on leadership development, once again have inconsequential results and go back to neglecting it.  Rinse and repeat year after year.   For these organizations leadership development is a necessary evil not a deep conviction.  And when there’s not a deep conviction around leadership development your efforts and results will be inconsistent.

On the other hand some say, “I’m developing leaders because I see talent in my team members that can be developed.”  Unfortunately it’s rare to hear this type of response.  For these leaders it’s not about the pain of a leadership shortage. The motivating factor for leadership development is the leadership potential seen in others.

When we’re driven by the potential capacity we see in others then leadership development becomes a part of our regular routine.  We don’t start with the position that needs to be filled; we start with the person that can be developed.  We’re constantly asking our team members:  What is your passion, what are your strengths, what are your dreams?  We instinctively look for development opportunities for these individuals.  We’re eager to spend time with them.  We celebrate the small baby steps of their growth.  Over time we proudly handoff responsibly and authority.  And the big win is not filling a position; it’s seeing someone maximize the potential of his or her leadership giftedness.

When our driving motivation is seeing others reach their potential then leadership development becomes a natural and consistent part of what we do not a necessary evil of our job.

So as you chew on this thought let me offer up another question to consider:  Would you still make leadership development a high priority if all your leadership positions were filled?

For leadership development to be consistent it must be a discipline you integrate into your weekly routine.  Identifying specific leadership development techniques will help you improve your consistency.

Over the years I’ve poured into dozens of young leaders.  I’ve tried many techniques but here are three I’ve discovered have high impact every time.

1 – Take someone with you.

One of the greatest things you can do for a young leader is broaden their exposure to great people and places.

When you go to an inspirational conference, a cutting edge church, or meet with a seasoned leader, take someone with you. Being around these great people and places will expand a young leaders vision and their perspective on leadership.

2 – Delegate for development.

Don’t delegate just to offload work from your plate.  Delegate with intentionality. Consider how the task can be used as a developmental opportunity for someone on your team.

What seems boring or menial to you may be a growth opportunity for someone else.  What can you give away this week?  For what developmental purpose?

Do you have to lead that meeting or can you ask someone else to step up?  Do you have to lead that devotion or can you give the opportunity to a young staff member?  Do you have to lead the upcoming project or can you turn over the leadership and authority to a team member?

Delegating these types of leadership roles can give others on your team experience and confidence they need for their own development.

3 – Debrief Often

Experience is a great teacher when you take time to evaluate it.  Each week you and your team are a part of meetings, services and events.  Why not take a little extra time, debrief the experience and see what you can learn together?  Here are a few questions to get you started:

    • What can we learn from what we did well?
    • What strengths were exhibited by our team or by individuals on the team?
    • If we could do it all over again what would we do different?  Why?
    • How can we improve our teamwork?
    • How could we improve our systems?
    • How could we improve our communication?

Now take a look at your week and see how you might integrate one or more of these techniques.

What are some no-fail development techniques that have worked for you?