Over the last two weeks I have been covering leadership and what it means to be a great leader. This will be my last post in the leadership series. Over my lifespan I have encountered and had the opportunity to work with many great leaders. These people have taken the time to help me develop my own leadership skills.
One of the ways that I have mastered skills in my life is by getting outside of myself and teaching someone else how to do it. There is an old saying I heard a long time ago “you have to give it away to keep it.” This is an essential part of mastering a trade or skill. For example over the past few years I have been working on honing my photography skills. After sometime I have been able to sit down and share my knowledge with friends, helping them take better pictures. By looking at photography through someone else’s eyes I have gained a broader prospective of what to photograph. So you’re probably wondering what is the point? Ok here it is.
In order to become a great leader, you need to be continually pushing yourself to grow, so you can remain a great leader.
The best way to maintain your leadership knowledge and skills and to challenge yourself to grow is to develop others into leaders. In a management or leadership role, we have a unique opportunity to help our teams grow and mature into leaders. I usually use many different techniques to help push people to grow and reach their full potential. In the process of this you will see different points of view on how to lead and different styles of leadership, this is valuable.
The easiest way to help others grow as leaders is to use delegation. By delegating a task to someone on my team, I give them the chance to step up and show me that they can lead. As friendly reminder, make sure you delegate cool stuff too, not just the boring mundane tasks of your job. It also gives me the opportunity to later give some constructive real time feedback about how well they did. Being able to give constructive feedback, means that people will listen to you because you make it known that you want to help them. Sometimes if feedback is given under the wrong tone or circumstances, it can be very bad for communication.
The second tactic is use is sharing my knowledge with my team. Often times in my career I have encountered people that don’t want to share certain parts of their job with someone else, for fear of being replaced. This is a bad habit and it happens often. I am not afraid to help other people grow, I want them to be successful, so whatever knowledge or skills I possess are shared freely. As a leader I need to share my knowledge, as I mentioned in the beginning it actually helps me be more of an expert.
Don’t allow yourself to fear losing a good person; create an atmosphere of open communication and learning on your team. You will attract great people. It will make your organization more healthy and successful. Over the years I have seen many people learn from me and move on to bigger and better, good for them! I too have learned new skills and moved on to use them elsewhere. It’s all part of building a career and a life, using what you have learned to add value in any situation.
The only way to remain great at anything is to practice and use your skills, these rings true in many aspects of life. Sharing what you know with others is a great way to remember the experiences that helped you learn these leadership skills.
Remember where you came from, and pay it forward.
Do you have any coaching examples that you would like to share with us? Please comment