"The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership." - Harvey S. Firestone, Founder of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
Here at Fierce, we’re in the business of helping others grow. And our clients are on all different paths in supporting their people’s development, from offering very sophisticated development programs to just starting on the path of giving options.
Regardless, the leaders we work with realize that developing their people is a critical piece for success.
This isn’t just a “check the box” – employees crave it. According to EdenRed, 68% of workers say training and development is the most important workplace policy, followed by working hours flexibility (74%), then promotion of health at work (72%). I’d argue it goes beyond the policy, because people truly want growth opportunities. So you must ask yourself: If this perk is highly desired, how do I help aid others’ development?
Some of the best leaders early in my career supported my growth and development more than any training program could. I would ask for opportunities to help them, and they would gladly accept and coach me along the way. These memories fueled my whole approach when I became a leader, and I know from observation that growing others requires intention to truly help them.
In the midst of crazy deadlines and moving quickly, I work hard to pause and make sure the people on my team have what they need and are being challenged in the right ways. I give stretch assignments and big projects. It can be uncomfortable for all involved, however, in the end, it pushes us all further. I am by no means perfect at this. However, I work hard to support a culture of development, because I know that the only way my team and results can grow is when we are all individually growing.
This week's tip is to develop others around you by sharing your skills and opportunities. There are many ways to do this. Encourage someone to shadow a meeting or call to learn. Delegate and give someone a big project that you feel they can do at about 70% of your level, and help fill in the gaps. Ask someone who is less experienced how they would approach something.
Bonus: This is a great way to build capacity for someone to help you when you are away or on vacation in the future.