Who is responsible for developing your team?
You are, of course!
If that was the answer you were expecting to hear from me, you’re actually mistaken…sort of.
You have meeting agendas to set, quarterly sales or contributions reports to review, fires to put out regarding HR situations, client or congregant communication to handle, strategic planning and goal setting to do, vision to cast…not to mention spending time with family, friends, fitting in some exercise, an occasional book read for pleasure.
When are you supposed to find time to also teach the up-and-coming, talented young leaders on your team–the ones you’ve painstakingly hired, who you see nearly unlimited potential in–how to grow into their calling and hone their leadership instincts? How can you fit development and coaching that’s intentional and personalized into an already packed schedule?
Why is it up to you to develop those you lead? Who is responsible for developing your team?
It’s not up to you. At least not entirely. I firmly believe that each individual leader is responsible for his or her own development. We must not let entitlement convince us that we aren’t. The willingness to embrace self-leadership and the hunger for improvement ought to be as automatic to an emerging leader as breathing. But if we’re honest, we know that isn’t always the case.
So the answer to our question, “Who is responsible for leadership development?” isn’t an either/or. It’s not EITHER that YOU must provide all the avenues and opportunities your team needs for growth OR that THEY must pursue possibilities of development all on their own. It’s both/and.
Your responsibility: extend the invitation, curate some options, ask good questions, and call them toward what you see in them. Their responsibility: step into the invitation, apply what they’re learning, challenge their own assumptions about themselves, and grow.
So, where do you begin with your part of this both/and equation?
Here are 3 simple ways to offer development for those you lead…
Choose a book to read or a podcast to listen to and then discuss it. Whether the setting is a “Lunch and Learn,” a coffee meeting 30 minutes before the office opens or a zoom Book Club after everyone’s kids are down for the night, invite emerging leaders to show up ready to discuss 2 questions:
What did you learn?
How do you plan to apply what you learned?
**I borrowed these questions from my friend and a leader I learn from on a consistent basis, Dan Reiland. If you’re not following him, I certainly encourage you to do so.**
2. Highlight and Reward
Don’t allow a meeting or gathering of your team to pass without seizing the opportunity to point out an example of good leadership and use it as a teachable moment. When you publicly reward the behavior you want to see exhibited by your team, you encourage both the individual to repeat it and the other team members to emulate it. A thank you note or gift card also goes a long way in reinforcing such behaviors.
3. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Budget for development, and communicate to your team members that it is worth it to you to invest in their growth. It doesn’t need to be a large line item to yield sizable returns. More online conferences, coaching opportunities and courses are available now than ever before.
Here at 4 Sight, we’ve developed an ideal option for this type of learning: The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership Course. Based on my book by the same name, this course will provide your team with the secret to standout leadership found in the Great Commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” I’d be honored to save you time and help you invest in your team’s leadership journey.