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Developing Effective Teams One Leader at a Time

“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers” – Ralph Nader

There are leaders whose focus is the people in positions around them, and then there are leaders whose focus is the potential within the people around them. One leader is unaware of the untapped potential within their organization while the other leader is working on building a team by developing that untapped potential they see all around them.

“One good team functioning together is always better than one good leader functioning alone.” -JSP

Building leadership teams are essentially adding value to people who will each be adding value to others. Leaders who develop leadership teams multiply effectiveness and achieve exponential growth thus increasing their sphere of influence.

Seeing the amazing effectiveness achieved by developing leadership teams, why don’t more leaders do it? Stephen R. Covey said “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime” Therein lies the answer, it takes time.

It’s easier to supply the need than it is to invest in someone to do it for themselves and others. Teaching someone how to fish requires spending a lot of time together. Developing effective teams requires good people skills and that requires a high degree of self-awareness.

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success” – Henry Ford

Successful leaders are busy identifying and equipping potential leaders. Good leaders can sense the potential in others; they possess as Maxwell says, “the ability to recognize ability.”

As Ford stated “coming together is a beginning;” creating a culture of leadership, equipping your people to equip others takes time. If you will play to your strengths and develop your teams to do the same, you will eventually stand out from the many leaders around you.

“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of being.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I love people, and I like simplicity. I’m not a complicated person, so it stands to reason that my leadership style is relational and the structures I use are simple and easy to navigate. I have an easy-going approach to developing teams; it’s effective because I allow people to be themselves, discover themselves, stay within their gifts and follow their passion. People perform well when they know the leader cares about them and has an invested interest in their personal growth and well-being.

My Simple Approach to Developing Leaders Who Will Develop Others

Turn Your People into Mentors Spend time developing your people. Develop meaningful relationships with them, ask them questions that will require them to think, assess and equip them to grow. Teach them how to be lifelong learners, recommend books, articles, videos, and study the habits of successful leaders.

Listen and Connect Be a good listener, and you’ll end up learning more than those you’re developing. There’s no better way to validate your protégé than to honestly listen to what they have to say. Whether we’re in a meeting, a gym, sporting event, or family outings, I strive to be present in the moment with them. I listen with my heart as well as my mind to connect on a deeper level.

Help Them Design A Personal Development Program Get together with them to discuss and develop a program for their personal growth. Take into consideration their strengths and weakness. Where do they see themselves five years from now, and five years after that? Help them set short-term and long-term goals. Plan and schedule meetings to chart their progress. Always be honest and affirming!

Plan to Grow with Them I always learn from the people I’m developing, and I learn even more about myself during the process. Be careful to remain teachable (it’s contagious). Bring them in on future objectives, ask for and encourage ideas and input. Always give them credit where they’ve contributed to a win. Ask them their biggest takeaway and ask yourself the same.

“Above all else, I want you to think for yourself, to decide 1) what you want, 2) what is true and 3) what to do about it” – Ray Dalio Principles

*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co.***

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