Three Reasons to Develop Leaders (Including You)

There’s so many more, but here’s three reasons for pursuing leadership development (not leadership training….but that’s another blog): 1)   People are looking for a guide, not a map

It is so hard to take people where you’ve never been.  And it’s hard to venture into unknown territory.  What if you could make the path easier through a developmental assignment that got someone ready for the next part of the journey?  Could they lead a company project with others before becoming a supervisor?  Could every new employee work in the manufacturing plant their first week on the job, so they know how things get made?  And for you - will you better be able to lead the company or your area into new territory if you’ve invested in learning something new?  Could you find a mentor or a coach to help you develop your skills?  What about being on a board of another company or a non-profit?

2)   I want to be like you, dad…

Yeah – that “Cat’s In The Cradle” song still gets me.  When your son or daughter says that yes – mom – I want to be like you, where does that come from?  We all look up to someone.  I bet that others look up to you.  What are you teaching those around you?  If you keep developing yourself, you’ll always have something new to pass on to others.  And if you encourage those you work with to develop, just think about the multiplication!

3)   Let’s not always do what we’ve always done

It happens to the best of us.  When we’re no longer new at what we do, we’re…well…no longer new.  That means some good things – we know what’s worked and what didn’t work – and we also can run on autopilot in so many areas.  When the world shifts in IT, marketing, sales, operations, engineering, new distribution methods, new business models, how do we question things again?  By putting ourselves, and those around us, into new situations, pairing that with permission to question, and expecting ourselves and others to explain, brings amazing clarity.  There’s nothing like a production teammate working in marketing and asking “what causes us to talk about our products like that when they do so much more?” to make you realize how you missed a few things along the way.

What’s your reasons for encouraging leadership development?  What has made it effective for you?