Development

Are you being developed?

I hear from people in a broad spectrum of professions that don't feel like they are being developed. What can you do when you feel this way? Here are some ideas. 1. Read - Reading is what pushes your mind, imagination, and heart to new places. As much as I'd like to have a strong argument on the topic I can't do better than the words of Justin Zoradi's guest post on Donald Miller's blog.

2. Ask to be mentored - Always keep watch for someone you highly respect in your field of work. YOU have to initiate the relationship. High capacity leaders are already involved in the lives of lots of people so don't sit around waiting to be asked.

3. Selective Tweets - A small amount of time on Twitter identifying people who share creative ideas will help you become a better leader. Look for blog authors who write valuable content often. See who they communicate directly to, who they retweet, and who's ideas they are sharing. You will find a network of people around your professional field that are sharing revolutionary ideas.

4. Create a small group - Organize a small group of people who will meet once a week or every other week. This time doesn't necessarily need to be built around specific subject but it does need to be consistant. You might be the only one who shows up a couple of times but then you can just get a head start reading the valuable new information you are finding on Twitter.

Are there other ways you are finding to develop yourself?

Is your leadership a pipeline or a road block?

Pipelines create a space where things move easily from point A to point B.  Its very purpose and nature allows for things to pass through it towards a destination. This should be a reflection of our leadership.  We should be developing people by taking them from point A to point B.  People's gifts, ideas, and work should be propelling them forward and we should be invested in helping them get there.  Pipeline leaders understand their role in developing talented people and see the significant value in it.  If the people who follow you are experiencing the freedom to create, grow, and move forward, then you are a pipeline leader and people want to work for you. 

The opposite of pipeline leadership is road block leadership.  Nothing passes through without the leader's permission.  Unfortunately for a road block leader, their own talent becomes the obstruction for everyone else.  It was their talent that propelled them to a place of leadership, and rightfully so, however, with great talent can also come two controlling thoughts:

"No one can do this as well as I can, so I can't trust anyone else to do it without me."  

OR

"If they do it better than me, they could replace me and I won't be needed anymore."

This thinking causes all positive movement on your team to come to a complete halt. Road blocked. Why? Because personal development of the team falls to the wayside of your own self preservation. The result of being a road block leader will be losing your upcoming, talented people.  These people will only stay for so long before they either find a detour around you or maybe around the entire organization.  Leaders who protect their own end up alone.  This means that if you are more interested in self preservation you are slowly draining the mission or organization of upcoming talent.  

Could you share with us what it's like to be under the leadership of either these leaders?

Coaching Essential #6: Great coaches develop other coaches.

Do you remember the saying, "It's not what you know, it's who you know"?  I'm not sure this saying is any more true than in the world of coaching.  The coaching network is unbelievable!   At every level of coaching, from professionals down to little league, this is true.  Networking is important because the last thing a coach needs in the middle of a competitive game is a breakdown in chemistry or philosophy among their coaching team. Coaches aren't scared:

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A coach's success is measured not only by their number of wins but also by the number of coaches they produce. You can translate this into leadership and ask yourself, "Is my leadership producing leaders?"  Do the people directly affected by your leadership and influence move on to be leaders somewhere else?  Are those on your core leadership team moving on to lead great teams?  If you don't see this happening around you, ask yourself the following questions:

1.  Do I give people the opportunity to lead?

2.  Do I give people the opportunity to fail?

3.  Am I intentionally bringing those I lead into specific leadership situations?

4.  Have I told someone they could do what I do?

5.  Am I praying for the people I lead?

6.  When I make decisions for the organization, company, or team am I asking the opinions of those closest to the work?

More than likely you're in your current role because of talent, but the distance of your impact will be measured by how much you poured into others and how seriously you took developing them.