If you’re like most leaders, you don’t want your people to settle for doing good work—you want them to do great work. That means part of your charge is to bring out the best of who they are and what they do. Here are some of the most important ways top leaders help their people discover their potential and fully express it:
Establish a foundation of trust. Open up workplace conversations beyond day-to-day performance, and establish an atmosphere of trust and acceptance. People need to know that a development discussion is different standard performance review—it’s not just about what people do well and what they could improve, but about their aptitudes and interests, where they want to be and how you can help them get there.
Give people a chance. Show people you believe in them by giving them opportunities to stretch their limits. Most leaders are too worried about minimizing the risk of failure when they should be focusing on maximizing the possibility of wild success. Look for any chance to help unlock new potential.
Coach and invest. Great leaders know the importance of investing in their people. When you nurture and support others, they will blossom and grow. Any leader who is too preoccupied with anything else to attend to their people has forgotten the essence of their purpose.
Provide opportunities to stretch. Great leaders provide challenging opportunities because they understand that giving someone a good challenge, one that comes with a real stretch, allows them to develop and unlock their own potential. They set a high bar and provide support to those working to reach it.
Give regular feedback. We all have our blind spots, and a great leader is often the person who can tactfully help people see their own weaknesses and how they may be getting in the way of their effectiveness and advancement. Done right, regular feedback is a gift that nourishes a person’s growth without destroying their roots.
Monitor, measure and reward. Don’t give up on people too easily. Work together to improve performance. You may find that people have more potential than you think they do. If you believe in them, they will meet you at your confidence. And remember that holding people accountable for their performance includes giving them credit for their accomplishments.
People need to own their own learning and career path. But your ability as their leader to cultivate potential can have a great influence on them—as well as on your own reputation and effectiveness as a leader.
Lead from within: Everyone has the potential to be great. Often all that is required is the coaching and belief of another person to convert that potential to reality.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: iStockPhotos
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.