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Senior Correspondent

Lone Ranger leaders are doomed to fail.

Recruiting, retaining, and developing the best talent is central to every organization’s success. Furthermore, people of influence constantly raise the game of those around them.

High potential leaders develop other leaders.

Two reasons people don’t grow:

First, past successes formulate, establish, and solidify leadership attitudes and behaviors. Everyone slips into the trap of repeating the past.

Second, they think they already know; they know too much. You can’t pour knowledge into a full cup.

Knowing and repeating are useful but they choke growth.

Growth moments:

  1. Occur when people are stretched, challenged, and feel uncertain.
  2. Emerge when old patterns fail.

Developing others:

  1. Telling seldom creates growth.
  2. Need and inadequacy open the mind to learning.

Develop others by creating moments that stretch their capability or capacity.

Managed stress and discomfort create high growth environments.

Five leadership development tips:

  1. Lift others higher by giving them opportunities to rise up.
  2. Give challenging opportunities that stretch.
  3. Support but don’t hover. Never let people feel you’ve left them out in the cold. But, always let them grapple and find their own solutions.
  4. Watch frustration levels. Step in before frustration dominates, if they don’t come for help sooner.
  5. Don’t help when they come for help. Helping them help themselves instills confidence.

Surprising resistance:

The people you work to develop may resist you, especially if they lack confidence. They’ll rise to the point of discomfort and back away or run. Learn how they deal with their uncertainty and discomfort.

Some need time to sort things out, give them a little space. Others need a cheerleader. Still others respond to in-your-face, “get going,” approaches.

In all cases, developing others is leadership’s greatest opportunity.

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