I was talking recently about someone in my professional life who I am really proud of.  Besides the fact that she is a friend and her success is great news, her success is even more special because I think I played a partial role in it.

As a leader or manager, this feels great.  As a friend, it feels great.  As a human being who loves to help others along the way, it feels great.

Is there someone in your life who you can say the same thing about?

When we study leadership, we focus on the people we lead. But so often, that focus goes to the successful completion of the work or projects or strategies that we are working on.  But what about the individuals themselves and their successes.  Great leaders take pride in their people – not just the current state but the future state as well.  Where they end up.  Where they go next.  The awards, recognition and promotions that came along the way

As a leader or manager, take pride in developing talent.  Be proud of them as they walk out the door to something bigger and better.  You can replace them – get over it.  Hopefully, if you did a great job in training, coaching and mentoring, they will recognize the role you played.  But if not – so what.  You can still be proud of your results.

What if you are one of my regular readers who is still trying to figure out if anyone out there is better for the time spent with you.  Is it the end of the world if you are still drawing a blank?  No.  But why not start working on changing this? 

Here are some quick ideas on how to grow your people – and be proud of it.

  1. Meet with everyone who reports directly to you and ask them – where do they want to be next?
  2. Look at the same people and ask yourself where you think they can be next? If there is a gap between #1 and #2, start selling a new outcome.  They might appreciate it.  
  3. Put a plan in place that will take them to an agreed upon level.
  4. Add some good old personal coaching and mentoring.
  5. Take an interest in their future – a future that goes well beyond you and maybe even your organization.

A word of warning.  Some workplaces feature the ‘favourite child’.  It’s obvious that one person is getting the attention, often at the expense of others.  Don’t go there.  No favourites.  Treat everyone the same way.   Take an interest and help them grow.

Who is your greatest achievement? Still struggling to think of someone?  How about we ask the same question a year from now.  Hopefully the answer will be easier.

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