You are a leader and you want to spend your time in the areas in which you can be most effective where your followers are concerned. Your team takes cues from you and they work off of the model of leadership you are modeling for them. As the leader, no matter how many obstacles you may be encountering or how challenging your role may be, you have to find ways to stay relentlessly positive with an eye toward always using every possible opportunity to develop and grow yourself and your team.
“Great!” you say, “How do I do that”?
A good place to start is by placing your focus in four main areas where your individual team members are concerned.
You must help them grow and develop as people and leaders within your leadership sphere. This is easier for leaders who are always growing and developing themselves, because they are always learning and have great things to share. I always instruct the people who come to my leadership sessions to go and teach what they’ve learned to another person. When you help your people grow, it also breeds great loyalty. We all remember people in our lives that invested in us and helped us. Spend time growing your people.
Help your people plan their future, personally if asked, but always professionally. Many promising leaders leave organizations because they see no plan for their future growth. It should be part of your plan to help them map a successful pathway forward. If there is no pathway forward, you should free their future immediately by letting them know that as well.
Help them initiate positive relationships and model for them how to do it. Introduce them to organizations and initiatives you feel would be beneficial for both them and the organization. Teach them how to interact with community leaders and peers.
4. Energize & Empower
The best use of power is to give it away. Once you have helped them establish a way to effective grow, helped them with at least a career path outline, and you’ve started connecting them to others, empower them to make a few decisions. As a leader, don’t always be the mama bear watching over the cubs, waiting to protect or rescue them at every turn. Allow them to come back to you for questions or help. Empower them to strike out on their own once you have effectively equipped them.