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Wednesday Wisdom: You MUST help your people grow

This continues our Wednesday Wisdom series where we review some of the top leadership issues we are currently assisting our clients through. We hope you enjoy reading!

Have you ever worked for someone that you know is intimidated by you? Did they/do they block you from any opportunities that come your way? Are you feeling stagnant in your job?

I can admit that at one point in my career I could answer yes to all three of those questions. It is a hard place to be in a role where your leadership is not promoting and assisting in your personal and professional growth. Now let me just add this “disclaimer”. We all need the worker-bee’s to get the job done. Not everyone wants to advance in their role, and that is ok. This does not mean that they should not be invested in.

Personal and professional growth is not just a route up the proverbial corporate ladder. Personal growth is helping a person become who they were created to be and to capitalize on their strengths. Professional growth is much the same, except the focus is more catered towards the skills and knowledge related to one’s job.

As a leader you absolutely need to help your team grow both personally and professionally. You need to be looking for opportunities to give them feedback, help them with their level of self-awareness and also search for chances for them to thrive. You should be celebrating their growth and their success right alongside of them.

Many organizations in today’s workforce set goals for their people based on sales and productivity goals. Have you ever asked your team if they have any specific goals they are working towards? Maybe they are wanting to pursue a degree, or perhaps they want to move into another department within the organization. Or maybe, just maybe…they want YOUR job!

This could be and very well may be another blog post on leader insecurity. One of the good things I was taught in my time serving in the US Navy was “train your replacement.” You were leaving the current command (job) in two to three years anyway, so the idea was to train someone up so that when you leave, there is a smooth transition. There was more pride this way, and far less competition.

It is so different in the civilian world. We have too many insecure leaders who refuse to give strong candidates a chance to learn to be a leader, learn how to do their leaders job or even go through training to advance them in their field. This is a leadership issue. If this is you, you need to evaluate yourself and make some changes, yesterday.

Leadership is not about you. It is about your people. Give them opportunities to shine. Set them up for success. Help them grow. Invest in them. The payoff is far more than you could ever expect.


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