Create More Leaders, Not More Followers
The profound effect of developing a leadership culture.
It still remains common knowledge that great leaders create followers. It’s excellent that people follow a leader they believe in or that inspires them, but that doesn’t leave people feeling empowered or fulfilled in the work they’re doing. It really is based on old and outdated stories of success.
If true leaders are doing their job correctly, they should be creating more leaders. When I say leaders, I don’t necessarily mean someone who wants a leadership title or to be a people manager, I mean someone who behaves like a leader and exhibits the right behaviours and professionalism whatever the situation.
“Leadership is a choice, not a postion.” - Stephen Covey
The main challenge with people following leaders is followers don’t learn to think for themselves or bring their whole creative self to the party. They’re waiting on the direction or instruction from their leader. This creates a dependency on the leader that leads to employee stagnation and disengagement. The personality and success of the team are then hugely driven by the leader and not through the combined team effort. Leaders who create more leaders increase the organisation’s capacity, employee satisfaction and overall potential, meaning, the organisation instantly becomes a more adaptable, innovative, and inclusive environment.
So how can we develop a team of leaders and gain a more competitive advantage over other teams and businesses?
1) Coaching - this old famous quote still rings true today.
“Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime” - Old Proverb
In summary, develop critical thinkers and teach your people the frameworks to solve challenges and overcome hurdles themselves. They’ll feel more empowered to make decisions and take action. When you are spoon-feeding them solutions every time they run into an obstacle, they’ll continue to come back to you again and again. Coaching is about being the co-pilot and supporting the individual through listening and asking questions to help with self-discovery, not jumping in and trying to fly the plane.
2) Accountability - holding people accountable for their actions and goals is important, but driving peer to peer accountability is where the magic happens. Be very clear with the expectations and what success looks like and then encourage your team to be part of the ideation and take ownership of the next steps.
3) Environment - nurture an environment suitable for healthy conflict, debate, and vulnerability, based on a foundation of trust. With a solid foundation, people will engage in healthy conflict, own their mistakes and challenge one another to be better and ensure we come to the right decisions, and not to the wrong decisions due to artificial harmony.
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