GR8 Leaders serve the people they lead which means they value and develop people. And, when they do that, they increase organizational capacity and build new leaders.
So, let's look at what value and develop means. The dictionary gives these definitions.
As a leader, when you value and develop people you focus on expanding their abilities and skills.
Value people enough to coach and mentor them to greater capacity
It Takes Your Time to Do This
It’s easy to say, “Agreed. I am doing that.” But, is it true?
Consider this, how much time do you take to get to know the people you lead? Do you know their strengths, weaknesses, gifts, personal goals, or how they will best fit with the others you are leading?
If not, you don't value the people you work with as much as you need to.
When you decide to actually value and develop people, it will take time to discover those answers for just one person. But, if you are like many high performers, you may think doing that is a waste of time.
Of course, that’s bad thinking. And, you may even know that people who feel respected and accepted tend to be more satisfied with their work and perform at higher levels. But, when you value and develop people, it will take time to help them grow their strengths and abilities.
Two Critical Skills Will Help
Anytime you decide to focus on helping people grow, you use the two most important leader skills. Do you remember what those two skills are?
Here are the two skills that most leaders aren’t taught to develop…
GR8 Leaders believes those are the two most valuable skills for leaders. Obviously, when you value and develop people, you will spend time with them listening and asking questions.
These same two skills are needed when a leader makes a critical shift in thinking about how they work. Unfortunately, this shift isn't taught explicitly to most new leaders. Therefore, new leaders struggle and fail when they do not know this mindset change.
Without this one change, leaders most often take on too much work and do not prepare themselves for higher levels in the organization. Worse yet, it will easily cause leaders to burn out and give up. And, you can't value and develop people unless you make this shift.
The Critical Shift
So, think about a new leader or, think about when you first moved into managing other people. Before you were promoted, you were a high performing individual in the organization. You did good work. Then, you were promoted and you role shifted from individual worker to supervisor. Unfortunately, most new leaders continue to operate as an individual worker doing good work, and they miss the critical shift they need to make.
If you want to become a great leader, you will need to SHIFT…
- FROM – doing good work
- TO – doing good work through people.
While leaders still have tasks to complete, they change their thinking to see how to get great work done through the people they manage and lead. For example, they spend time working with the people they lead, helping them increase their capacity to lead in the future.
And, it increases your capacity to lead, because it frees you to focus more attention on strategic items.
The Benefits When You Value and Develop People
Of course, that shift will show up in the way people see you.
For example, the graph above is interesting research that ties into valuing and developing people. Note the title “When Leaders Treat You with Respect, You’re More Engaged.”
You may agree that when you value and develop people, it can imply that you respect them. Some leaders discount this great information, because most often they believe in the control model of leading. But, look at what this research found.
When people felt their leader respected them, they had…
Unfortunately, in the same study of 20,000 employees, 54% said they didn’t regularly get respect from their leaders.
So, respect, value, and love are all closely related. Not only that, it is time to do what will help the organization – value and develop people. Stop focusing on yourself and learn to serve the organization and the people.
On the plus side, you reap big dividends like those stated above when you respect, value and develop people. But, there is a price to pay, although, it is actually very beneficial for you and the people.
What is that price or that obstacle? Well, it is the same obstacle all leaders must overcome - your tendency to focus on yourself. And when you do that, you will not take the time to encourage, value and develop people. But when you do, you help the people and the organization grow and develop.
Google's Research About Their Managers
Finally, some interesting research from Google about their own managers. They did a broad survey of hundreds of managers and found the following were the 8 key behaviors, exhibited by the best managers.
As I see it, 5 or 6 of those behaviors tie directly to how you value and develop people.
If you believe the research, here are two important questions to answer. Will you start thinking about the people more and about yourself less? Will you take the time to value the people enough to help develop them?
Your answers help you know whether you are on the path to GR8 Leadership or not!