The biggest deal to leadership is the opportunity it gives you to impact people positively and grow them to realize their full potentials. There is no perk to leadership that comes close in giving you a sense of fulfillment than this. It’s tempting to see leadership as being the man with all the answers but playing at a higher level of leadership means you groom your people to also know and own the answers. Here are some ways you can help anyone under your leadership grow their leadership and achieve maturity faster.

Teach responsibility: I need to clarify what I mean by the word ‘teach’. To be sure, I don’t mean you go google the term ‘responsibility’ or dig up textbooks on the topic. No. Responsibility is not something you teach theoretically or in a vacuum, you can only teach it practically because your objective here is the skill, not just a mental ascent.

To teach responsibility to anyone, get them to be responsible for something or someone.  Responsibility grows the maturity muscle of anyone, getting them to grow past themselves and start looking out for others. If you are applying this principle at home to your child, you can start with responsibility for self by getting them to start doing for themselves what someone has been doing for them up until the time being.

When that is learnt, you can help them get a pet, a flower to nurture, a duty or task that need daily attention and through that process can gain thoughtfulness for something or someone other than themselves and as such a sense of responsibility is set in place and reinforced.

Accountability: Making them responsible is great, but it is only one side of the coin. The balance to it is teaching them to be accountable. Don’t just leave it at assigning a responsibility; make sure that they follow through by giving an account of their stewardship for the responsibility assigned them. This keeps them on their toes and gets the goal of responsibility achieved much faster.

Coach Them: as a leader at work or at home [as a parent], it is easy to build everything around us, and build our sense of worth around people needing us. But, this model is unsustainable and doesn’t help anyone in the long run. Don’t be a problem dump be a coach instead. When people come to you with their problem, rather than throw answers at them, it is better to help them find answers for their own questions. Use questions and clues to help them think for themselves and guide them to the answer.

Gradually they will depend less on you and learn to handle their problems themselves. This will free up your time to focus on more issues that are important, it will also grow their maturity and responsibility muscles.

Big Picture Thinking: Help them see the big picture; when people see the value that their little effort contributes to achieving the overall goal, it takes the drudgery out of work and infuse them with motivation. As a leader, you gain more by helping your people understand the vision and goal of the company and the team. Get them involved in the planning and forecasting process so they can make meaning of their work.

Delegate a responsibility: As your people grow their leadership muscle, give them even bigger responsibilities. When they have proven themselves in smaller tasks, you can then start to give them charge for others, delegate and refer people who come to you with issues to members of your team for whom such challenge will provide a much-needed opportunity for growth. Of course at the early stage you will need to monitor the process closely but that will be for just a while. This will help you take some workload off you so that you can in turn take on greater responsibilities.

In the end you realize that you are actually helping yourself when you help others, you are invariably growing your leadership and capacity for more as you grow people under you to be more and to do more. This is the beauty of leadership in its true essence.

Leave a comment: What other things can you do to ensure the growth of your team members?

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