Is one of our jobs as leaders to develop other leaders? I think it may be our most important job. As I strive to be a leader, I often try to use qualities I see in people I consider leaders to complete my objective. As parents are we grooming our children to be good parents? Are we properly grooming our team mates to be leaders someday? I once asked a friend of mine, who is a teacher, how he managed to deal with 20 to 24 high school age kids every day. His response is something that has stuck with me for years, he said “He understands he is nurturing a flower he may never see bloom.” As leaders should that be our mantra? Are we preparing our teams for future leadership? Let’s consider this briefly.
How do we recognize leadership qualities in members of our team?
In order to identify leadership potential in people, we must possess a huge amount of commitment, diligence, patience, desire, and focus. We must be able to look at the individual, identify their gifts, their attitudes, their dreams, their goals, and their past success as well as their past failures. Only by understanding these, can we get deep enough inside the person to locate that leadership seed and expose its potential. Helping someone become a leader is more than just providing them with information and helping develop their skills. We must instill in people a sense of value; and their value as a potential leader. We must encourage them in times of challenge and respond to them in times of need.
No matter what, we must recognize that people will buy into, and believe in us, before they buy into their own ability to lead. We must be the example in not only what we teach, but what we actually do. Leadership is just as much modeling as it is teaching. We must make sure we model what we teach.