Leadership and Developing Others

According to research quoted in the Harvard Business Review, there are 19 clearly defined characteristics that separate excellent leaders from average or poor leaders. One quality that you may find a little unexpected is the characteristic of “developing others.”

Most blogs and articles about leadership, management, and executive performance focus on developing oneself. We’re guilty of this too! Executive coaches, consultants and business gurus typically write about self-awareness, emotional intelligence, mindset, executive presence, strategic thinking, resilience, building relationships, and more — from the perspective of improving YOUR skills. (For more, read Arden Coaching’s extensive library of blog posts.)

But true leaders — those acknowledged to be exceptional leaders — also invest in their teams, their departments, their people. Genuine leaders make sure they are developing others professionally (and personally).

When managers and supervisors work with their employees to improve their listening skills, strengthen their project management abilities, or improve their effectiveness in team settings, they become better, more respected leaders themselves.

Some wrongly believe that excellence in leadership comes from power and control. It’s a win-lose mentality in which others must lose in order for the “leader” to win. The leadership philosophy we champion empowers and elevates people. It’s a win-win approach that builds your effectiveness and influence as a leader while strengthening your employees and benefiting your company. The fact is, the more you help others, the more it elevates you as a leader.

Often, leaders simply do not have the time to develop their employees — it takes more time and effort to develop someone than delegate work to them. Outsourcing the development of your employees with a partner (an external coach) will help.

So, instead of thinking about the things you could do to improve YOUR skills to make YOU a better leader, consider something such as executive coaching for your employees. 

Answer These Three Questions

1. What skill sets and leadership characteristics would your key reports benefit most from? Communication? Strategic thinking? Team performance? Emotional intelligence?

2. How might you engage them directly in a process to help evaluate and determine their needs? 360-degree leadership assessments? DiSC assessments? EQ-i 2.0® assessments? (For more about assessments, click here.)

3. What executive coaching format would best meet their needs and the needs of your company? For example, 1:1 results-driven executive coaching is very effective for relatively small numbers of people. Hybrid group and 1:1 coaching helps larger numbers of people improve their skills and gets them on the same page. (For more, read about Arden Coaching’s Leadership Academy.)

Now take action. To paraphrase President John F. Kennedy, ask not what coaching and leadership development can do for you, ask what coaching and leadership development can do for your people and your company!

To learn more about executive coaching and professional development opportunities for your employees, contact Arden Coaching at [email protected] or 646.684.3777.