Do you find it difficult to get people to do what you want?
John Maxwell equates leadership with influence. So how do we become better leaders? John Maxwell describes these five levels of leadership: Position, Permission, Production, People Development, and Personhood.
As we go up in these levels, we increase our influence over the people we lead. At the lowest level, people follow you merely because you’re the boss. At the next levels, people follow you because of your relationship with them and your achievements. But where long range growth happens is at the level of People Development.
As a People Developer, you strive to bring out the best in others. You act as your subordinate’s talent manager. You find opportunities for them to grow. You encourage them to hone their strengths. You help them learn from failures and celebrate their successes.
When you become a People Developer, leading becomes easy, because your people will be doing what needs to be done almost on auto-pilot. You will win the loyalty of your people. They will be fired up to do their work excellently, which will enable your team to produce consistently superior results. But getting to the level of People Developer needs some hard work and new habits, especially if you are a new leader. Here are some pitfalls I have experienced before, and tips on how to avoid them:
- When your staff is taking a long time to do a task, invest in their development by coaching them instead of doing the task yourself.
- Do not assume that everyone is as motivated as you are in getting the job done. Some people need more push than you. Discover what fires up your people to get things going and add fuel to that fire! It can be a pat on the back, extra challenge, rewards or some other thing.
- When someone is not performing well, don’t wait for the annual performance review time to point out the person’s flaws. Find out the cause of the poor performance and coach the person promptly on how to improve.
What benefits do you stand to gain from developing people? For one, you can move up the ladder or move on to better things as you develop your successor. And you will have that immense feeling of satisfaction as you see people shine because of your influence!