Think about the leader that has helped you develop and grow the most. What was it about who they were and how they led that supported your development? I know for me these great leaders were exceptional at many things - and at the root of it all, they cared about me as a person before they cared about me as a direct report. That care led them to care about me professionally and help me learn, grow and develop.Stewart Leadership's highly acclaimed LEAD NOW! Leadership Development Model captures these qualities and behaviors extremely well. If you’re not familiar with the model, it’s broken down into four quadrants focused on leading internally and externally for business and people results. Quadrant III, Developing Self & Others, highlights these seven ways that leaders develop themselves and their team members. Let’s look at each one in more detail.
A primary way that leaders develop their team members is through coaching. Coaching is the ability to guide and challenge an individual to achieve improved performance through self-discovery, feedback, encouragement, and skill development. Coaching helps build a person’s strengths and identifies ways to manage personal opportunities.
Some practical ways leaders can coach team members:
- Matching employee ability and attitude with assignments
- Providing regular and in-the-moment feedback
- Supporting the individual to own their development and performance
- Creating an environment of support and discovery
- Creating or investing in leadership development opportunities.
2. Ego Management
Ego management is a balanced level of confidence in your own skills, tools, judgment, and experience. A confident and robust ego is needed to handle the challenges of life. It embodies the right balance of humility and modesty with strong inner conviction and determination.
Effective leaders develop themselves as they keep their egos in check to prevent negative behaviors from impacting others. They can also serve as a role model for their team members.
Some practical ways leaders manage their egos:
- Choosing to disregard who gets the credit
- Leading the applause for their people
- Pursuing what is best for the team
- Allowing the team freedom in how they achieve the end result.
Leaders who are effective at developing others listen well - which is the ability to understand the intended message while having an awareness of others’ attitudes and feelings. Good listening skills directly affect business and people results by building engagement, commitment, and overall working relationships with others. Leaders that listen also learn a lot about their people and their business.
Some practical ways leaders can maximize their ability to listen:
- Demonstrating genuine intent to understand
- Physically turning their body and attention toward the other person
- Repeating or paraphrasing to ensure comprehension
- Asking questions to ensure clarification.
4. Personal Development
While leaders are busy developing their people - it’s equally important that they dedicate time and focus to continuing to develop themselves. This increases their capacity and skills as a leader and enables them to increasingly be more effective. Personal development is the process of keeping oneself up-to-date on the trends and best practices to stay relevant and effective. It is using a strong personal network to learn from the ideas and experiences of others.
Some practical ways leaders can ensure they are personally developing:
- Becoming aware of how you are perceived by others
- Adapting and learning new skills and techniques
- Seeking the support and encouragement of others
- Applying new skills to current and new situations.
5. Team Building
Team building is an important way leaders develop those around them while also elevating overall performance. A well orchestrated, high-performance team will leverage each member’s strengths and create an atmosphere where employees feel a sense of belonging to the group, learn from one another, and grow together as they deliver results that matter. Some of the best development happens in a team setting.
Some practical ways leaders can develop their team and others:
- Clarifying roles, responsibilities, and accountability
- Encouraging healthy debate until a decision is made
- Supporting team decisions once they are made
- Leveraging the strengths and skills of team members.
6. Time Management
Managing time well allows leaders to be efficient - and carve out sufficient time to develop their team members. It is the ability to plan and control how you spend the hours in your day to accomplish your goals effectively and to meet deadlines. How time is used determines how we live and who we become - truly the essence of our personal development. A leader that manages time well also becomes a role model for others to follow.
Some practical ways leaders can manage their time:
- Make deadlines for yourself and keep them
- Learn to say “No” to nonessential activities
- Leverage technology as a tool (not a master)
- Take advantage of short unstructured moments of time.
7. Valuing Others
I may have saved the best for last! Valuing others is at the heart of great leadership - and is a catalyst for the development and growth of a leader’s teams. It is the ability to recognize the potential within others and help them see that their diversity, capabilities, experience, and contributions are essential. When your team members feel valued, they will also feel engaged and included and thrive personally and professionally.
Some practical ways leaders can demonstrate that they value others:
- Ensuring opinions are heard and respected
- Being available to their people
- Including those affected in the decision-making process
- Seeking out and appreciating the diversity that different team members bring.
If you want to lead in a way that strengthens your skills and helps multiply the talents and skills of those around you, these seven leadership dimensions can provide you with a solid roadmap to get started. And as you help others grow, so will you, your team, and your organization.