“Success without a successor is no success at all”, is something I heard very early on in my career.  I wasn’t managing anyone then but took it to heart and it is always in my mind.  To champion the development of others around me has been one of the chief joys of any position I have held.  To see them fly higher than anyone, including themselves, could have dreamed.

I’ve held the power to shape the skills, knowledge, and abilities of my team members.  It’s a fearsome responsibility and I really don’t think anyone should consider management unless that’s in their heart and mind.  Even if not doing it directly, enabling that to happen and setting team members up for success is non-negotiable for a manager.

“Employees leave managers, not companies.”  I believe this is especially true when it comes to developing talent within an organisation. One organisation I worked with struggled to find their abundance mentality and the idea of developing their human talent was so foreign.  You ended up feeling like a work unit, a machine for delivering on their goals and worked purely to provide the daily necessities for living. 

Talking about caring for team members is not enough.  We’ve got to do it.  Some of us have it innately…it brings us joy, it’s our “native language” to see others, to develop others, to help them maximise their own talents.  It’s kind of like being a parent.  And just like parenting, many of us don’t have a clue how when we start out or even along the way.

So where do we start? 

A good organisation casts the vision and trusts to their people to breathe life into it.  An excellent organisation has at the core of its reason for being, its people.  The enabling environment for their well-being and development if you will.  If you have that environment at work, or even if you don’t, it’s still down to you as the leader/manager.  Gallup’s Global Employee Engagement surveys have found, 70% of the variance in team engagement is determined solely by the manager.

So, let’s start with you.  Being mentored and mentoring.  It’s important to know where your own talents lie.  Hopefully you’ve found yourself in an organisation that has someone mentoring you in a life-giving way, spurring you on to turn your talents into strengths…if not, find somewhere that is.  If you’re brave enough, catalyse the change!

Now, the mentoring bit.  You may not be particularly empathetic…you may not particularly feel like a coach, you may have zero interest in learning how to do all this.  How are you meant to develop the huge potential in your team?  Write down all the things you’d like in a mentor.  Knowing your own strengths, leverage those to get the job done OR find others in your team or organisation who can OR get some outside support.   From someone like me 😊



About the Wayfinders' Blog

The Wayfinders’ Blog helps individuals, teams and organisations discover and develop their unique strengths. I provide valuable insights and practical tips to my audience empowering them to develop their talents into strengths and achieve their goals.

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