Why Are You Developing Leaders?

April 1, 2014 - Mac Lake - Leadership Development

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?

Be Sociable, Share!

Mac Lake


My passion is multiplying multipliers

10 responses to Why Are You Developing Leaders?

  1. Hi Mac,

    I agree with you in every way, which is unusual. I started developing Leaders because I needed them, and no one else was developing them. It didn’t take long before I started seeing Leadership qualities in my team members and hew hires, so I started teaching them about Leadership. After that, the natural step seemed to be to hire only people in whom I saw Leadership potential. I cannot begin to tell you how well this worked out for me, my team, and the company as a whole.
    I’ve been writing about the same thoughts at Leaderisticality.com, where I will be happy to repost this.

    Thank you!

  2. Thanks Steve I appreciate the encouragement and the repost

  3. Great insight. I agree the real reason to develop leaders is to help others grow into their God given potential. Thanks for the reminder

  4. I see a lot of interesting posts on your blog. You have to spend a lot of time writing,
    i know how to save you a lot of time, there is a tool that
    creates readable, google friendly posts in couple of seconds, just type in google
    – k2 unlimited content

  5. Hello Dear, are you genuinely visiting this site on a regular basis,
    if so afterward you will definitely take good knowledge.

    Visit my blog post; 50 inch lcd tv – http://www.youtube.com,

  6. Great info. Lucky me I came across your blog by chance (stumbleupon).
    I’ve bookmarked it for later!

    Look at my web page – 42 inch tv prices

  7. I constantly spent my half an hour to read this webpage’s
    articles or reviews all the time along with a cup of coffee.

    My blog post; philips 40 led tv

  8. It’s perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to
    be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things or
    suggestions. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I want to read more things about it!

    My site – Best 55 inch led tv

  9. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the layout of your site?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people
    could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

    my web site – cheap tv (youtube.com)

  10. I read a lot of interesting posts here. Probably you spend a lot of time writing, i know how to save
    you a lot of work, there is an online tool that creates high quality, google friendly articles in seconds, just search in google – laranitas free content source

Leave a Reply