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Leadership Tips: Build Your Leaders Up

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In our often time-constrained, all-consuming routines as leaders, it can be hard to focus and help others around you. And when I say others, I mean other leaders – the people you aren’t normally focused on helping and supporting. It’s often assumed that this orphaned population of fellow leaders are “skilled to fend for themselves.” Hey, they are super talented and should have it figured out…that’s their job, right?!

Well, we know that is not reality. Leaders are pressured in all directions – from the top, the side, and the bottom. And when you think about it, often it is hard for them to even know what they need in the middle of it all.

I was recently talking with a leader in one of our client companies, and she is tasked with building a new middle manager training program. When I asked about the vision, she shared that more than anything, the organization wants their new managers to feel supported and taken care of. That is what they need. I love how beautifully human that is.

This isn’t just a warm and fuzzy idea. More and more research supports how positive workplace cultures are more profitable and more successful, and as leaders, we all want that. In fact, a Columbia University study shows that the likelihood of job turnover at an organization with rich, positive company culture is a mere 13.9 percent, whereas the probability of job turnover in poor company cultures is 48.4 percent.

While “rich company culture” can feel ambiguous, all cultures are built by the leaders who compose them. That means you.

This week's tip is to focus on something you can do for other leaders. Write a simple note. Take them out to lunch or for coffee. Connect and have a deeper conversation. And ask them directly: do you feel supported?

James Keller once said, “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.”


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