A Leadership Imperative – Developing Yourself and Your People

October 5, 2011 Simon Leadership Development

From time to time I come across so called leaders who have the sole focus of delivering results. These people are often very good at managing performance and getting things done but can they really call themselves leaders?

I believe that leading others in the business world is as much about looking forward as it is about focusing on the present. And one of the key things about looking forward is this. If you want better performance in the future, you should spend time today helping your people to improve their capability and grow.

In other words – developing yourself and developing others should be a core part of your day job.

Leaders working at the organizational level should aim to build staff development into the organization’s culture, partly by having an empowered learning and development function and partly through leading by example – i.e. actively developing the organization’s second tier, creating succession plans and developing a leadership pipeline from the organization’s talent pool.

Leaders working at the team level should look to have an active development plan in place for each of their team members. In part, this will be based on improving a person’s capability in their current role but some attention should also be given to people’s career path and succession planning within the team.

For leaders at all levels, you should also have your own development plan. How are you going to grow in your current role? What is your next career step? What immediate skills do you need to develop and improve?

I will write more about how to develop people in future articles but for now suffice to say that a good development plan is far more than sending someone on a training course. It should include task exposure, project work and coaching support and can also involve activities such as shadowing, knowledge sharing, peer support, mentoring and personal marketing.

A lot of the articles on this site will focus on these areas both in terms of helping you develop yourself as a leader and to provide tools and strategies to help you develop your people more effectively. I welcome your involvement in this discussion.

See you at the top  :)
Simon

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