A Ticking Time Bomb
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

I recently read a short article that stated, “You can only lead people whose leadership abilities are less than yours.” This statement really stopped me in my tracks. It was frightening to think about and seemed incredibly arrogant. However, as I reflected on this statement, the meaning became clearer to me.

Leadership skills will either be an attractor or a detractor to the best and brightest talent. Those up-and-coming leaders are looking for opportunities to work with the best and the brightest leaders who are a bit farther down the road than they are. If they feel you can’t help them, they won’t give your organization a second look. Worse yet, if you have them in your organization and they start to grow and you don’t, they will leave. This gets very serious when we consider that in 2020, millennials became 50% of the global workforce, and according to Gallup, 89% of millennials claim professional growth and career development are very important to them.

What is a leader to do? How can we stay ahead of the game? Here are a few actions you can take right away.

  • Build and Share – Build your own growth plan and find ways to share it with your team. Begin by growing in your giftedness. Find resources that can help you leverage your giftedness as you journey toward your fullest potential.
  • Be Transparent – Too many leaders are unwilling to seek unbiased feedback. 360-degree feedback assessments are the best way to know how you are doing. I know it might sound scary, but you are the only one who doesn’t know the facts. Everyone else already knows, so what do you have to lose? What you have to gain in awareness is priceless.
  • Choose Well – Choose who you want to take on your growth journey. Identify your team members who show giftedness in leadership and bring them along with you. These are the folks you may choose to take with you to a conference or invite to be part of a mastermind.

Yes, this issue might be a ticking time bomb, but it is easily neutralized with a dose of awareness and intentionality. Just grow. Set up systems and processes in your life that keep you growing. We need to remember that we can’t give what we don’t have. People don’t leave companies, they leave bosses, and if you are not careful, you might just be the reason that great employee leaves your organization.

If you would like to hear some additional tools you can use to neutralize this ticking time bomb, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 198 of The Next Page podcast.

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