“If you’re a leader, your whole reason for living is to help human beings develop—to really develop people and make work a place that’s energetic and exciting and a growth opportunity, whether you’re running a Housekeeping Department or Google. I mean, this is not rocket science. It’s not even a shadow of rocket science. You’re in the people-development business. If you take a leadership job, you do people. Period. It’s what you do.”
Tom Peters – September 2014 – McKinsey Quarterly.
My first thought…
The purpose of leadership is simple!
My second thought…
The process of leadership is hard work.
If I understand the essence of Tom’s message it would be that the impact of your leadership is directly related to your effectiveness in developing people.
So how do you develop the skills you need to succeed in the “people-development business”?
Consider these steps to get you started:
- Get clear on your purpose – Are people at the center of your leadership focus? Is this priority reflected in how and where you spend your time?
- Become a student of human behavior – Do you observe the people in your organization? Are you aware of the underlying emotions reflected in their behavior?
- Master the art of communication - Are you attentive to the impact of your words? Do you practice effective listening?
- Commit to self-awareness - How often do you seek feedback on your leadership? Do people feel comfortable sharing their opinion in your presence?
- Invest in learning and development - Do you invest in your own development? Do you invest time to identify and create developmental opportunities for others?
- Challenge perceived limitations – Do you help people get out of their comfort zone to realize and release their potential? Do you provide a compelling vision?
- Recognize the strengths in others – Are you attempting to align people with work that leverages their strengths? Do you set people up for success?
- Leverage available resources – Do you take advantage of the experts, books, assessments and other tools that can help you understand and develop people?
You have an amazing opportunity to impact lives for good.
To help make work meaningful, challenging and full of great stories.
No matter where you are.
That’s what leaders do.
So go build your rocket.