Monday, April 16, 2012

Are you being a ladder for leaders?

Leaders create leaders. That’s what I believe. 

You know the ones.  Those self assured inspirational leaders who are not afraid, infact actively seek, to recruit people who are more gifted than themselves.   The ones that actively mentor talent. The ones that ensure succession planning is implemented with vigour and rigour. 

Forgive me referring to past patriotic glories (particularly those against Italy now that I am living here but yesterday's visit to Naples to watch the America’s Cup World Series reminded me of it)..but for me, one of most touching leadership moments was when captain Russell Coutts literally handed over the helm of Black Magic to the young talented then-understudy Dean Barker in the last race against Luna Rossa, to claim the America’s Cup in 2000.  I was proud of NZ's win but even more proud of that leadership gesture.

Often there is a reluctance on behalf of managers to ‘let go’ of their high performers and encourage them to go on to new roles, for the reason that it makes the manager’s life a little more difficult.  They don’t want their high performing, hard working team member to go because ...well, who will get things done?!
They forget that they became leaders, because they were given opportunities and encouragement.  People had installed belief and trust in their capabilities.  People had given them a step up.

There is the saying “don’t be a leader, be a ladder”.

How are you ensuring that the time under your leadership provides the transformational step for someone?  Are you providing them with the necessary support and challenge so that they can significantly contribute to the team's objectives whilst also nurture their own individual development and aspirations? 

Indeed, how are you helping or hindering someone’s career path?

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