How to Shape your Future Leaders
Updated: Nov 16, 2019
Perhaps, this post should be titled “How to Nurture the Growth of your Greatest Assets”. Leaders cannot be shaped just as they cannot be created. At least not in the physical sense. To shape your future leaders, you would first need to have an ideal image in mind in which to sculpt them. They would also need to be a blank canvas, or ball of clay. You see... this is an impossibility.
Everyone brings with them a unique set of talents, education and a personality that has already been shaped, colored by a lifetime of experiences. A successful organization should be looked upon as a combination of puzzle pieces; not cogs on a wheel. Each piece has its own form and when put together correctly, in just the right way, can create a very beautiful picture.
We must also not forget that your organization is constantly changing in complexity. Evolving. Or rather, that is the goal. A company that does not grow, much like a person that does not grow, or a picture that never changes will lose some of its magnificence each and every time you gaze upon it.
As this puzzle morphs in complexity, so will it’s pieces. New pieces may be added and certain pieces that may have started small and rather obscure, may begin to take on a larger form. Now mind you, their basic shape may remain semi-consistent, just as you cannot draw a circular triangle. You can however, round a few corners (softening their weaknesses) and make it three dimensional, as you nurture their strengths. What was once a flat puzzle, a painting in 2D, has now taken on a whole new life.
This is where you come into play. You’re job as a leader is to nurture your employees to be their best. In a healthy, high functioning culture, your team will always be your greatest asset. There is no room for insecurities. If someone in a lower position does something better than you, do not feel threatened by it, guide them down the path to betterment. You are only as strong as the people you work with.
With my consulting firm, The Strategic Perspective, our motto is “Your success is our success!” That is all we care about and why we will never take credit in the growth we help you achieve. In the same token, we will never promote you as one of our clients or ask to use you as a referral (unless you choose to utilize our new product offering in a PR capacity). This philosophy has served us well, just as it will with your own employees. Their success is your success.
When grooming an employee for advancement, it is all too common to fall into the trap of our own egos. To try and force them into a mold of ourselves, building a dam in a metaphorical reservoir, just waiting to overflow. It is much easier to lead the flow of water than to impede it. If you raise certain banks higher and create curves (Once again, building upon their strengths), you are leading the stream towards your goal, directing the flow... but without resistance. This is true leadership.