We don’t speak in a figurative sense and we don’t talk about how happy we can be that the people in our organization are happy working and having good results. No, let’s talk for a moment about a much simpler and more down-to-earth side: the success of the people around us determines our own success. And something that is also important and that you may not know: the way they take both successes and challenges also influences you.
It is much simpler than team spirit, but more complicated than simple numerical results. It is the way in which we human beings relate to each other and the complexities of the group functioning where people’s lives are intertwined in a common way.
A well-known lecturer and leadership coach John Maxwell explains in his book “Developing the leaders around you” the importance of dedicating time to the development of the skills and talents of those around us. We have always known that we are surrounded by positive and talented people. But experts like Maxwell highlight for us all the benefits of being surrounded by competent and resolute people and why it is worth investing time and effort to be more competent and decisive.
That influence works both ways. You benefit from having competent people on your team and your team benefits from the company of other competent people in addition to what you yourself can bring to their life and career.
But to remain a useful and competent leader you must select well the people around you and train them to be leaders you want them to be. To be even better than you. In Maxwell’s own words: you must never want followers, but leaders who make up a movement.
Create a culture of leadership.
Encourage the members of your team to always want to grow more, to stand on their own feet and to speak for themselves. To face conflicts and develop a resolute and crisis-proof mindset. The same skills you want to reinforce in yourself are the skills you should expect your team to desire and develop.
You should also consider how and why you are training these people; if you use the right strategies and if the people will be able to face any situation thanks to your help.
Leadership culture is also creating an environment in which all people have the same possibility to grow as much as they aim for, without there being any external limitation imposed by other members of the team. According to Maxwell, it’s especially important to consider the influence that is exerted on people who we are most intimately related to. Those who are closest to us are the ones who most hold us back or drive us, so the work we have done with them is fundamental.
Summarising: we must equip all the people on our team with a decisive mindset and the sufficient autonomy to become leaders on their own. We must give space for that growth and encourage them. And surround ourselves with the kind of people who are like us or even better than us. That is one of the most important keys to successful leadership.
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