As leaders, we know that “improving ourselves is the best way to help our team” – Jim Tressel. So, we are constantly developing our self-discipline and leadership abilities. The discipline our constantly working on ourselves keeps us on the path to becoming great leaders..
However, a another great quote by Dr. John C Maxwell brings me to the purpose of today’s post: “If you can’t influence people, then they will not follow you. And if people won’t follow, you are not a leader.” All leaders have people who follow them; people that they are leading. People who, whether you know it or not, constantly watch you, learn from you, and depend on you!
The purpose for today’s post is to remind us as leaders that “the real function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” — Ralph Nader. This means that while we are developing ourselves to be great leaders, we are also responsible for the leadership development of those around us!
As I mentioned to you before, I have been re-reading leadership books that I purchased years ago and discovering new “nuggets of leadership gold” that I missed back then. Another of these books is, “Smart Moves”, by Sam Deep & Lyle Sussman. Today’s post is adapted from a sub-chapter in their book entitled, “How To Develop Your Subordinates”; I re-named it: “How To Develop Your Team.” I hope you enjoy this post and it inspires you to take some new action steps as you lead those around you!_______________________________________________________
Smart Move #37: 9 Ways To Develop Your Team (Subordinates)
- Assign important, challenging jobs. Cut them loose on risky projects. Give them a chance to show what they can do.
- Gradually mete out responsibility for tasks you usuall perform yourself. This develops them while freeing you for greater challenges.
- Praise employees (team members) when they have performed a job well. They will be more motivated if they know that you appreciate their efforts.
- Involve them in decision making—solicit their suggestions.
- Send them to a leadership development or personal enrichment seminar once a year. Attending seminars make people feel important and it teaches them new skills.
- Provide frequent, honest, and objective feedback. The periodic formal performance evaluation should not contain surprise information. Do not defer praise or reprimands until then.
- Don’t solve problems for them. Teach them how to solve problems for themselves
- Remain accessible for their problems or questions. Keep an open door and an open mind.
- Train your team so that one or more of them can take your job when you leave or get promoted. Your replacement should be working for you right now.