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8 Steps to Developing People – 5 of 8

“Values aren’t buses... They’re not supposed to get you anywhere. They’re supposed to define who you are.”
― Jennifer Crusie

Our fifth step in developing people is the area of styles. We’re referring to the blending of our thoughts, values, beliefs, which form our opinions, each in measure to help create our perceptions. Therefore, developing people is holistic, considering the heart, the head, the hands, and the habits encompass the whole person.

The sum of who we are is behind how and why we see the world the way we do. As leaders, it’s essential to be aware of our perceptions’ impact on those we lead. We influence the people we develop by our perceptions.

Our perception of challenging issues drives our responses to them, which is done in full view of those we seek to develop. Good leaders are conscious of how they perceive and respond to the world around them. Commenting on perception, John C. Maxwell remarks, “The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.” Remember that who we are carries influence; hence, those around us reflect what is in us.


“There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart. Pursue those.”
― Michael Nolan

The heart is where character resides; our intentions begin here and reflect our character. I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase “the intents of the heart.”

Servant leaders are the most successful in developing people; their motivation is others oriented at the core of their being. It takes a degree of humility to place others before ourselves wholeheartedly. Good servant leaders understand this matter of the heart because they were once leading servers.

When we guard our hearts with diligence, we effectively steward our relationships. Be very protective over your heart and the hearts of those you mentor. Mary Schmich says, “Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, and don’t put up with those who are reckless with yours.”

The heart is the control center, be careful about the values you hold because it’s who you are that you’re passing on to those you develop.


“Thoughts held over time greatly affect all areas of our lives. The quality of the thoughts we think creates the quality of the lives we live.”
― Christiane Northrup M.D. (1)

When addressing heart issues, it’s vital to understand that what originates within is filtered through the mind. We think through issues filtered by the belief systems we hold to be true. We formulate paradigms and practices that govern our roles and relationships.

Concerning the thoughts of servant leaders, Ken Blanchard teaches about a visionary role that sets the course and destination, as well as an implementation role, which is doing things right with a focus on serving. It’s a good practice to periodically review our beliefs and viewpoints about leading and developing people.

With the mind, we map out strategies to accomplish the visions we derive from our purpose, an invaluable truth to pass on to our protégé.


“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks, but I do fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
― Bruce Lee

Show me someone with the discipline to sustain habits to achieve their objectives, and I will show you a highly successful person. Modeling and mentoring quality sustainable habits connected to a vision and purpose always produce their desired outcomes.

Authenticity will get the buy-in from those you develop faster than anything else can. When developing people, transforming values, thoughts, and habits is a way of life, mentor others to align themselves with their purpose.

John Maxwell aptly states, “If your habits don’t line up with your dream, then you need to either change your habits or change your dream.”

Ken Blanchard and others advise setting clear goals, measuring performance, and consistently following up with those you lead.


“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”
― Ronald Reagan

People development is the art of cultivating and highlighting the best in others. Servant leadership and developing people are alike, up close and personal; for this reason, they are both hands-on.

Being hands-on requires communicating a clear purpose, demonstrating acceptable practices, monitoring performance, and measuring expected outcomes.

“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
― Lao Tzu

End Notes

(1) Making Life Easy - Christiane Northrup M.D.

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