Friday, November 16, 2007

A Philosophy of Leadership Development

One of the things that is the most energizing to my life is working with, training and developing leaders. I love recruiting, encouraging and helping those who lead other people. Because leadership development is so fulfilling in my life I have begun to develop a strategy to continue to develop leaders. This philosophy is by no means set in stone, but it provides a framework from which I can work to build leaders.
  • Leaders that you are training must have a stake in the organization. Potential leaders must be included in planning, decision making and policy proposals for the group. Give them the opportunity to contribute early on. The success of the program, and your leadership development, will depend upon sharing responsibility.
  • Potential leaders must be given the opportunity to lead. Shielding leaders from the actual work of leading does no one any favors.
  • You must be open and honest with your future leaders. Dishonesty and secrecy will hinder your relationship with any potential leaders.
  • Your relationship with your leaders is more important than any content you might share with them. There is no substitute for time and attention with those who will become leaders.
  • Leaders must be encouraged at every point, even when they fail. Never become so negative that your protege becomes discouraged or disheartened.
  • Reinforce positive behaviors too much. Do not ever be afraid that you are over-doing the praising of your leaders. Praise is the one thing that most of us do not get enough of.
  • Create a team atmosphere with all your projects. Always be looking for the next person that can take over leadership and include them as a teammate. Do not be 'in charge,' be cooperative.
  • Listen to suggestions and ideas of team members. Give everyone an opportunity to share and contribute.

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