Are you a coach? Do you help others grow? If you are a leader then one of your jobs is helping others become more successful. Ideally you would grow your followers so that they could assume the position of leadership. Creating a succession path to carry on what the leader did allows the leader to further contribute by mentoring others who are just beginning their walk into leadership.
Where do you start and who do you start with if you are a leader who is intent on growing other leaders? The humble and servant leader will always be looking for someone to develop into a position of leadership, perhaps even one day assuming the top leadership position. The first place to look is right within the current staff that the organization has. Look for those who have a natural tendency towards leading others. This is different than looking for those who want to manage others. A leader influences others and in many cases may not even look like a leader. The servant leader and the humble leader may be invisible to others in the organization but they are able to influence change. Look for people who have character, integrity, humility, honesty, openness, and authenticity. These people have the attributes for leadership. Look at how they grow others. Do they command people or do they lead people? Do they encourage people? Do they acknowledge the work that is being done? Are they trustworthy and are they relational?
Leaders are grown. Leaders need to have experience on the front lines. Leaders will have had to fail at some things and they will have to have walked in the shoes of other people. Leaders will have to have vision, not the vision of the future, but the vision to see what other people see and feel. Yes, they will have to be future oriented as well but they need to see the environment they work in as well so that they can understand the issues that need to be resolved and to see what really works.
Winston Churchill wrote this leadership moment line, “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm. Great leaders put developing leaders into places where failure may be frequent. The idea being that failure leads to success. The lessons learned from failing are often not repeated. A child learning to walk will fall many, many times before mastering balance. We need to support new leaders like we would support a child who is beginning to walk. What is interesting though is that we need to support everyone like they are beginning to walk if we want a growing learning organization.
A leader coach will help others grow.