Friday, October 9, 2015

Lean Quote: Success as Leader is All About Growing Others

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.— Jack Welch

One of the most important qualities of a good leader is the ability and desire to develop their employees. Taking an active role in the development of your team demonstrates confidence and concern for the future of the organization.

Unfortunately, many organizations do not plan properly for the development of their people and teams. People development without proper planning in place normally results in internal and external conflict, which leads to confusion, low productivity, less motivation, and therefore loss in various ways. When the right plan for development is designed based on the employees’ needs, desires, and potential the expected positive outcome will be achieved.

You can’t move forward if you don’t grow and you can’t grow if you never leave your comfort zone. When possible, give your employees challenging assignments. Help them prepare by providing them a safe environment to learn from the mistakes that they are bound to make.

Most people want to learn and grow their skills at work. Encourage experimentation and taking reasonable risk to develop employee skills. Get to know them personally. Ask what motivates them. Ask what career objectives they have and are aiming to achieve. You can make their career.

In order to get the most from your employees, you need to invest time and resources in their development. Annual performance reviews simply aren’t enough. Make a point to sit down with each employee on a monthly basis (or more frequently, if possible) and provide them with specific feedback and areas of improvement.

Creating a positive learning environment will encourage development and help your employees gain confidence in their position. Learning should be relaxed and clearly explain the reasoning behind every new exercise and lesson. Negativity will only inhibit the learning process, so it's important to be patient, allow for mistakes, and always reward new achievements. This positive feedback will reinforce and affirm the efforts of your employees, and encourage them to continue learning.

Remember, as a manager, one of your primary duties is to develop your people. Your employees are your most important resource.

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