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Why Your Organization Isn’t Growing and 5 Behaviors to Groom Future Leaders

Why Your Organization Isn't Growing and 5 Behaviors to Groom Future Leaders

A leader’s job is not to create followers.

A leader’s job is to create other leaders.

And it’s a frustrating place when an organization is stuck, stagnant, and not growing.

But often time a core cause of that is because the leader isn’t engaging in practices that develop other leaders.

How do you do that?

Here’s 5 simple ideas:

1.Teach Problem Solving – If you answer every question your team asks you then you aren’t creating leaders because you aren’t creating critical thinkers. Instead, you’re creating dependents.

One of the practices at Southwestern when building organizations is that the next time an experienced team member brings you a question or a problem ask them “What are your options? What’s your best option? What do you think we should do? Go with that.”

After you do that enough times they’ll start figuring it out on their own.

2. Delegate – Delegating is not just about helping you be more productive and saving you time. Delegating is also about giving other people a chance to step in and learn and practice critical skills that they will need in order to take the next step.

We are often afraid to delegate because we think “they won’t be able to do it as well as I can.” But as Spencer Hays once said, “You don’t build company if you build people, and those people build companies”

Give someone a chance to help. Give them a chance to step up. Throw them in the deep end and see if they can swim. It’s one of the best litmus tests of all for determining who your real leaders are. Work side-by-side with them through the whole process.

Plus, very often you’ll be surprised that people often rise to the level of leadership you allow to be available to them.

3. Teach Leadership – If you want to develop leaders you have to spend time teaching them the principles of leadership!

You have to teach them the art of dealing with people. You have to teach them how to recruit, interview, hire, train, motivate and work through other people.

The best way to do this is to mentor, by having people with you and watching you and helping as you lead processes and lead people.

If you or someone you know needs leadership training and they are in sales leadership or sales management then you should request a free call to talk with one of our sales leadership coaches. If you are not in sales leadership and just need general leadership knowledge then you should consider joining this virtual training.

4. Help them build a Vision – The amount of our endurance and the intensity of our self-discipline is directly proportionate to the clarity of our vision. When we have a crystal clear picture of what we want in business and life then there is a naturally strong connection to the sacrifices we are asking ourselves to make today that forward us towards a future that we care about. Every business endeavor needs to start with a 5 or 10 year vision with year-by-year numbers and metrics, broken down by month or week in the first year.

So your job as the leader is to help make sure that you make the time to map out a detailed month by month vision of what will take them to the level of achieving their goals and becoming a future leader.

But it’s not enough to just help them create a vision; you have to also then hold them accountable to hitting the regular metrics and check points that are required to stay on track with that vision. Vision and accountability are two sides of the same coin and in order for a leader to develop other leaders you must be skilled at providing both to you team.

5. Spend time with them 1 on 1 – One of my favorite Dustin Hillis quotes is that often when it comes to things like leadership, “One on one time in the field with your people is the key to successful leadership and transference of knowledge.”

While it is important to teach the practical skills, and to get the formal education on leadership, nothing can be a substitute for spending one-on-one time with the people in your organization that you identified as potential future leaders. Mentoring them and discussing with them their daily challenges, big picture ideas, and long-term visions will always be a great way for them to learn.

Most of all, invite them into issues and struggles that you are dealing with so that they can see you in action. They will learn an extraordinary amount just from watching the way that you handle situations. Remember, “tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.”

These of course are not the only five behaviors that must be taken to develop leaders, but they are five great ones that are immediately actionable to help you get on the right track.

The journey to develop other leaders beyond yourself begins largely as a matter of intention and a decision to do so.

As you make that decision and do these five behaviors, your leadership philosophy will spread and your leadership influence will multiply.

The Gift Great Leaders Give


People don’t need help being realistic.

We’re all already negative enough.

Our typical default is towards why things won’t work and why they’re not possible.

Most of us do just fine on our own coming up with reasons, excuses, and justifications for why our dreams won’t come true.

And we don’t usually need much assistance thinking about the worst case scenario or knowing what the ultimate failure might look like.

No, most of us do that just fine all by ourselves.

What we need help with is believing.

What we need assistance with is dreaming.

What we need affirmation with is what could be possible.

Which is why a part of leadership has to be helping people believe in a bigger future.

We have to help people see what could be possible for their own lives.

We have to show people a plan for how something magnificent could actually come true.

And we have to do the work to take people with us on the path as we embark towards the new.

Because there is no shortage of naysayers in the world who will tell them it can’t be done.

There is no lack of critics who will point out every reason it won’t work.

And there is no absence of realism that will remind us that we’ve never accomplished anything like this before.

But naysayers never advance the world.

Critics don’t create change.

And realism always betrays a person of their chance to reach their full potential.

Which is why we need to lead.

We need to help people believe.

We need to convince them that it’s possible.

And we need to put in the work to show them how.

If you can do that…

If you can show someone a plan for how the impossible can be achieved…

If you can convince someone that their dream can come true…

If you can demonstrate the kind of work it takes to break belief barriers and explode limiting beliefs…

Then you have changed everything for them.

You have led them.

And you have redefined realistic for them.

And that is a great is a great service.

A tremendous gift.

And perhaps a once in a lifetime blessing.

Because people don’t need help being realistic; they need help believing in the bold.

Why You Aren’t Growing Other Leaders


Most organizations are terrible at growing and developing new leaders; but they can’t figure out why.

It’s because their current leaders aren’t trained to be leaders. Typically their current leaders became leaders by being great performers.

And what got you here as a performer, won’t get you there as a leader.

Performers do great work.

But leaders help get other people to do great work.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do great work as a leader, or that you should do less work.

It just means that a large part of your new work is helping other people to do great work. A large part of your new role as a leader is developing other leaders.

And very often that means you letting go, giving up control, and allowing for other people to step up and help.

Yet if you’ve been a top performer who has become a leader, you will likely be plagued by challenging self-talk such as:

They won’t be able to do it as well as I can.

It’s just faster for me to do it myself.

I’m really the only person who knows how to do this.

No one else can really be trusted with this.

And even,

I don’t think anyone else is capable of figuring this out.

While those are very normal and natural thoughts they are, at their very core, just examples of leadership FEAR.

Remember FEAR stands for false evidence appearing real.

And those are fears because they are things that seem logical in your brain, yet they are powered by emotionally irrational thinking.

The surprising reality is that in most cases people will rise to the level of leadership you allow to be available to them.

People rise up.

People step up.

People figure it out.

People find a way.

So assuming you are surrounded by good people, you don’t have to hang onto everything yourself.

Give yourself the permission of short term imperfection and empower someone else to improve their skill set and complete more of the crucial tasks.

You’ll likely be impressed that they rise to the level of leadership you allow to be available to them.

Giving Effective Praise – Found, Felt, Feel

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See you in the stairwell,

Rory Vaden
Take the stairs – Success means doing what others won’t.