For leaders, the only way to keep moving forward is to keep developing leaders. Once you stop developing leaders, your progress also stops. Investing your life to develop other leaders is essential to the future of any leader. Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. Everyone has leadership potential
Working with the view that there is potential in everyone can be quite rewarding. You will see the most “unlikely” people rising up to take the challenge of leadership. When given the opportunity, and when people begin to believe that more is possible, they move forward one step at a time.
2. Each person is different and leads differently
People often lead according to their own personality styles. Allow for differences in styles as you train them. Help them to see the value in the differences. These differences make them who they are in a unique way.
3. Look for FAST people
These are some amazing qualities that cannot be taught but grow out of a development of inate character. So look for people that are Faithful, Available, Submissive, and Teachable. Skills and knowledge can be taught and developed over time. So, when you find FAST type of people, grab them and invest in them.
4. Be in it for the long haul
Developing leaders is a long and ardous effort. Since it is a process which takes years, be willing to put in the time. Some develop quickly and others take time. Hang in there so you can look back in the future and see the long trail of leaders you leave behind. That will be your true leggacy and gift to the next generation.
5. Think of each encounter (and person) as an investment
Every time you encounter someone in your organization, see it as an an opportunity to develop them and bring them up to the next level. This perspective will significantly elevate the quality of your interaction with them.
6. A period of “incubation” is needed
For some people, they simply need time to develop. They may have the qualities that are needed (FAST), but still need time to deal with their personal issues.
7. Finally, release them
The leaders you develop are not yours forever. They will be with you for a time, but eventually they must be released to be on their own or to move on to another organization. Sometimes, another leader, or another situation may be what is needed to move them up to the next level. Ultimately, your true and genuine goal is to develop them.
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