Category Archives: People Development

Are You A Critic Or A Cheerleader?

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There are two types of leaders.

Those who are critics, and those who are cheerleaders.

Critics are those types of leaders who feel their knowledge and experience give them a superiority over everyone else.

These are leaders who look down on others, and don’t believe anyone can tell them anything that they don’t already know.

One of the fatal flaws a critical leader commits is discounting someone’s input because they feel their experience is inferior and not qualified to matter. They discount the hourly employee’s input who is new to the job, the young manager who only has an associate’s degree, or someone’s view on workflow because they don’t work on the factory floor but in the office. They fail to realize that people many times have valid viewpoints based on their observations and collective experience.

These leaders don’t build others up or develop people. Instead, they put them down and find people with the similar critical spirit to enter into their circles, creating more of the same spirit throughout the organization. This enables toxic and untrustworthy behavior and is always short-sighted. They also usually make very poor personnel decisions due to their elevated sense of self and contempt for those they deem lesser than themselves.

The other end of the spectrum are those leaders that are cheerleaders. Cheerleaders are not necessarily a “ra-ra” motivational personality. Instead they are the steady leadership style that elevates everyone around them to grow and develop.

Cheerleading leaders give higher value to their people, their insight, and their development. They give each person and equal value and voice and cast a vision within them to inspire them to give feedback for the greater mission.

These types of leaders have no problem stepping aside and giving others credit, leadership in projects, and a platform for input. They are more tolerable and forgiving for mistakes, and while demanding a high degree of performance, know that their people need time to develop and learn.

They esteem others more than themselves, knowing that the best organizations are more than the leader but the sum of all it’s constituents. They usually make the best personnel decisions which lead to more sustainable growth and achievement of the company’s goals. Cheerleaders are the ones who better develop future leaders.

Work to be a cheerleader who looks up to your people, not a critic who look down at others. Only one mindset can make a positive, lasting impact.

(image: wikimedia commons)

 

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Why Development Is A Core Focus As A Leader

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If you ask the average person, they may say the focus of leadership to be:

  • Attain results
  • Meet goals
  • Share vision
  • Service customers
  • Get people to perform
  • Create culture
  • Manage daily operations

Leadership is a balance of all the above, but one essential piece that most leaders fall short on is this:

Development of your people in their skills to the highest level they want to attain.

This can manifest in the following ways:

  • Helping them gain mastery of core job functions
  • Developing skills in new areas
  • Strengthen those areas they are already strong in
  • Building desire to grow through increased engagement
  • Casting vision of the organization to help them see what they can accomplish
  • Fostering a desire to lead in varying capacities
  • Placing them in situations they can grow and stretch
  • Increasing their knowledge by giving access to learning resources of all types

Developing your people is key to sustainable growth of the organization. A good culture cannot grow and refresh if it’s people do not grow.  A great strategy can be executed but if your people don’t learn something new the next strategy may not go as well.

At the core of every action, goal, and metric attained in any company is the need to having your people learn as much as they can. This only strengthens the foundation of your organization and builds more connected, committed, and long-term engagement in your workforce.

Purpose daily to develop your people. That is true leadership.

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Appreciating True Leadership

Leadership – sometimes defined very broadly – is not just a position or responsibility. Instead, it’s a calling to use your given skills and talents to positively influence others.

True leadership, to me, is the ability to grow people, and subsequently organizations, to lead them past what they normally would be into another level upwards of accomplishment, realization, and success. True leadership gives value and voice to others and allows them to keep everything in check and balance in the organization.

In looking back on many years of unique opportunities, the following are the reasons I appreciate the calling of leadership training:

  • Helping others find satisfaction and success
  • Seeing teens and young adults carry on the mantle or ethical leadership
  • Building solid teams with a singleness of vision
  • Creating diverse teams with differentiation of backgrounds and skills
  • Finding those diamonds in the rough that others pass over
  • Taking others out of their box to get them to look at things through another viewpoint
  • Expositing timeless principles and applying them to today’s challenges
  • Forgetting about me in the process and working to make others better
  • Working with people from all corners of the globe, both in person and virtually
  • Seeing the spark in peoples’ eyes and minds when they see the possibilities before them

While I have a personal resonation with these, they may strike a chord with yourself. Consider the reasons you lead others and examine what motivates you to be in leadership.

Do any of these reasons listed agree with you? Do you have other reasons you enjoy being in leadership; true leadership? If so, please let us know in the comments below!

Make the most of your opportunity to have that next generation be ready to take the baton and influence their world for the better.

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