Five Questions to Lead Your Leaders

John Maxwell says, “The largest, most valuable asset any company has is its people.”
(p. 137, Developing The Leader Within You)

We couldn’t agree more. Just think of the last time you called your cable company. Your signal was out. Or you lost audio on channel 246. Or maybe your cable box just read “ERROR.” The technological glitch was likely frustrating. But what you remember about the incident is the customer service you received. From a person.

So developing your greatest asset­-your people-should be a priority for all leaders. And to develop them you’ll need a plan. Here are five questions that will help you map out a great one.

1.     What do you want everyone to know?

If you don’t know what you want your leaders to know and why they need to know it, stop! Developing people is a never-ending process, and it must be done intentionally. Is your company bracing for big change? Spend time developing resiliency in your leaders. Are your ideas feeling stale? Maybe your team should brush up on the industry’s emerging technologies. Or perhaps it’s just time for some fun. Get inspiration from Improv Everywhere and see how much can be learned by letting loose. As their leader, determine their destination. Then plot how you will drive the group there.

2.     What resource will you use to facilitate everyone’s development?

There are so many ways to develop leaders: books, podcasts, blogs, sermons, videos, etc. And there are numerous providers of quality content: Chick-fil-A Leadercast Network, CatalystSpace, North Point Ministries, TED Talks, Inc. videos, and more. Don’t always choose your comfortable provider or method of learning. Value other styles and value other voices.

3.     Who is going to be responsible for the teaching?

While you are leading everyone’s overall development, you do not have to facilitate each topic. Bring in other leaders from inside and outside your organization. Find experts on the topics you are discussing. Invite them to teach your leaders. And what if you don’t have enough cash to host an expert? Thanks to Internet videos like this one, their expertise can often be shared for free.

4.     How will the learning be implemented?

Transforming learning into action is where development truly happens. Miss this step and your training will have missed the mark. So make implementation part of the conversation. Then visit the topic again. And again. Circle back in your next staff meeting to celebrate a change or advancement that came about as a result of the training.

5.     What will you learn next?

There is no finish line when it comes to the development of people, including you. As the leader, always think, What’s next? While this can feel overwhelming, an easy way to simplify your plan for growth is by dividing their development into three areas: personal, spiritual, and leadership. This will help you determine a variety of next steps.

People feel valued when you invest in them. In order to attract and keep effective leaders, create a culture of constant development. This will ensure a continual stream of qualified people you can work with to accomplish your mission.