Four Dimensions of Leadership – Part 2
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
Last week I started this four-part series by writing about the first dimension of leadership, which is Inside Out. That dimension is perhaps the easiest to grasp because it is the foundation of successful leadership. It basically says that we need to be bigger and stronger on the inside than we are on the outside. We must start with strong character and become a lifelong student—always hungry to learn and grow. Always? Lifelong? Really? Yup. You can’t give what you don’t have, so you always need to learn and grow so you can add dimension two, which is Outside In.
Great leaders realize that their greatest return is found in growing other leaders. The reason is quite simple. If all you do is attract followers and those followers are always dependent on you, you are very limited in what you can achieve. When you grow other leaders, who can grow other leaders who also share your goals and dreams…do you see where this is going? Now you can really get things moving and together accomplish incredible things. Now that I have you thinking about a large-scale movement, I need to tell you that it’s accomplished one person at a time. That’s right, one person at a time. Don’t worry; this is where it gets fun.
As we look around, we need to identify the leadership needs around us. Who needs guidance? Who needs some correction or a push in a specific direction? Who needs some praise or recognition? Our leadership must be very personalized. As we assess the needs of others, we may need to reassess our ability to help. Perhaps we need more knowledge or training in a specific area so we can be better equipped to lead that person. As you look for the specific needs of your team members, also look for their individual giftedness. What are they better at than anyone else on the team? With a little help, what could they be the best at? If things aren’t working, we may need to “be different,” so we can “do differently.” Please remember that we are all human beings, not human doings. The problem could be us, them, or both.
When I was on a school board, I became familiar with IEPs or Individualized Education Programs. These were developed to help support students who may be struggling. I started to wonder, what if each employee had an Individualized Education Program? Why would you only offer it to someone who is struggling when our goal is to help everyone grow and develop. If this is making some sense to you and you would like to hear more about how to develop individualized plans for your team members, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 172 of The Next Page podcast. We will discuss how a leader can assess the needs and opportunities of their team members, and then easily build a plan for each person.