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Mining Your Own Business

“Mining is a dangerous profession. There’s no way to make a mine completely safe…”

— Tawni O’Dell

Applying Tawni O’Dell’s quote to people development, we can say that the dangers apply more to risk/reward than bodily harm.

By mining your own business, I’m referring to developing leaders from the people already in your organization.

I believe there’s gold in every employee directory; the challenge is knowing where to dig. Mining character, gifts, and talents should begin within our organizations. I trust the following five points will help to that end.

1. Establish A Leadership Culture

Establishing a leadership culture fosters a collaborative mindset. Employees soon realize an individual competitive spirit can be counterproductive.

  • Winning at all costs is more about teamwork than individual effort

  • Respect is gained by showing it to others

  • Influence grows by equipping your people to lead by serving

Leadership development as a core value encourages personal growth at every level of your organization. (1)

2. Identify Potential Leaders

I have previously written, “when developing emerging leaders, look for signs of excellence and good values. Outstanding leadership begins with a spirit of excellence at home. The intangibles of love, respect, honesty, integrity, and empathy are not techniques but values.

  • Excellence is the driving force behind influencing others throughout life.

  • If you pursue excellence, you’ll be raising the bar for every potential leader.

Such high standards are the solid foundations emerging leaders can build on. Train your protégé to

  • Identify emerging leaders who can step in and fill critical roles when necessary.

  • Challenge people to go beyond their comfort zone.

  • Understand that complex or unusual situations are excellent opportunities for testing and developing leadership potential.

Look beyond job-related skills to behavior and attitudes. Learn about their interests, goals, and values.”

3. Articulate Your Vision

Clearly articulate the vision of your organization. Vision casting keeps teams focused; using their gifts and talents to work together makes that vision a reality.

  • A shared sense of mission enhances team participation.

  • Your team’s leadership potential will eventually become readily apparent to you.

  • The shared experience allows them to take ownership of the vision.

4. Be Willing to Take on New Challenges

Encourage your people to see beyond the horizon and push beyond present limitations.

Like climbing a mountain, the challenges increase the higher you go. Those who aren’t willing to go higher usually go home, and the mountains remain.

Help your people to

  • Visualize themselves successfully functioning at new levels.

  • Understand that dreams and goals require intentional thinking.

5. Train Your People to Believe in Themselves

“No one can help you if you don’t believe in yourself. You must see the possibilities and be confident that a better tomorrow begins today.”

Believe you can always learn something new, regardless of your age. My mother earned her Master’s in Psychology at sixty-six; she demonstrated that it’s never too late to learn and achieve something new.

  • When you’re younger, your future potential appears before you, always within reach.

  • When you’re older, there’s enough experience behind you to grasp what lies before you with confidence.

  • Anyone willing to learn can be taught to believe in themselves and achieve more.

In Closing, Too many organizations rely on their onboarding process to hire people with leadership potential; while their company may already employ what they’re searching for, your employees are your most appreciable asset. Make excellence the standard and celebrate it wherever you see it.

End Notes

(1) Recognizing The Signs of Emerging Leaders

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

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