Leadership has many qualities but there is one that is often overlooked – supporting the personal development of others.
I have always been passionate about personal development and, having been in the financial services industry for over thirty years now, have been through enough performance reviews and listened to plenty of colleagues’ moaning about lack of progression, that I know it is not always given the attention it deserves.
Whilst this post focuses on the benefits of supporting others in their development, don’t forget that the bottom line is, each of us is responsible for our own personal development. It is others that can help us take it forward.
Selfish or selfless?
It is all too easy to concentrate on yourself and forget those around you, yet one of the most rewarding parts of being a leader is to know that you had a hand to play in helping someone else becomes the best that they can be.
In an industry where jobs always seem to be at risk, I do think there’s a risk of being selfish, protecting ones’ own interests over that of others’. After all it is difficult to get to the top of the career ladder, why should you help someone else when they could end up taking your job?
Even if you are typically someone who believes in supporting others, if you’re working flat out all the time, always playing catch up on those emails, keeping on top of projects and attending meeting after meeting, it can be easy to forget how you can contribute to the development of others.
Don’t let those opportunities pass.
Being a leader that supports the personal developing others within your organisation adds value all round.
- Improved staff morale: staff that know their own development and career goals are taken seriously and supported will be happier and more likely to follow you as you their leader
- Improved performance: Skills, knowledge and experience that is continually stretched can lead to more efficient working and better processes
- Enhanced reputation: for you and the organisation. If you become recognised as a pro-active supporter of personal development, individuals will be keen to be a member of your team/organisation
- Pay it forward: supporting others will encourage them to do the same, causing a ripple effect of positive behaviours
And finally, for purely selfish reasons, it makes you feel good.
- Mentoring: working in partnership with your mentee, supporting them through regular discussion and positive actions
- Coaching: teaching others on specific skills or enhancing their knowledge
- Supporting the study of formal qualifications
- Structured career discussions and action plans
- Giving talk and sharing your skills, knowledge or experience
I will expand on the “How” in another blog, in the mean time – take a look at your team,colleagues and professional network. Is there at least one person you could give a helping hand in their personal development?
Go on – you will be amazed as to how much it will mean to them (and you)……