creating more leaders

“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” – Tom Peters

ID-100162328 foto76 freedigitalphotos.net

New leader training is essential for our organization. During the first year or so, mentors have the privilege of imparting vision, identity DNA, and confidence into our new leaders through a teaching, training, and coaching process. This training sets the attitude, knowledge, and skill foundation for many years ahead.

Every few years our organization revamps our training programs so they are attractive in the current context, relevant for our constantly changing world, and effective at preparing new leaders. Last year, my husband and I were part of a global task force to determine new core desired outcomes for our training programs worldwide. This year, we had the exciting job of helping our area leaders around the globe implement the changes.

“Leaders aren’t born, they are made.
And they are made just like anything else, through hard work.
And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.”

– Vince Lombardi

Change is not easy. Each area contains many countries, each with its own culture, language, human resource, time, and financial challenges. Leaders are very busy, and many priorities and crisis vie for attention. At times the biggest challenges are the attitudes of loyalty to the “old ways” and fear or resistance to change. Sometimes pride gets in the way when a leader was the creator or director of the prior system.

Some area leaders invested a lot of time in the valuable task of aligning others to the new ideas. Communications, visits, and sharing of materials help others to engage and involve in the process. Other leaders gathered a task force together for the project. Working towards change as a group or team shares leadership and ownership of the effort. Many are busy preparing translations for their countries. This is all part of the investment in our future leaders.

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
John Fitzgerald Kennedy

One of the best aspects of the process is seeing the leaders get excited about the new paradigms they discover as they work: more interactive learning and creative delivery, more emphasis on coaching, and more sessions focus on the heart, servant leadership, character, and stewardship… As the leaders learn, they become enthusiastic about championing the new materials and methodology in their areas.

“The more seriously you take your growth,
the more seriously your people will take you.”
– John Maxwell

Those who help train and mentor our new leaders are building the future of our organization. They set an example with their lives; their attitudes, words, and actions reflect their values and greatly influence the new leaders. We desperately need trainers and mentors who prioritize the new leaders and invest in their development. Such a privilege. Such a responsibility.

How can you contribute to a culture that creates new leaders?

What can you do to continue learning to improve your leadership?

13 thoughts on “creating more leaders

  1. The challenge in leadership training really is the focus of the mentors, the trainers. It must be seen as a privilege and responsibility. Quite altruistic. And they will catch that from our attitudes, our actions. So insightful, Ter. Once again, you knocked this one out of the park.

    • Thanks, Dayle, for your encouragment! I agree… you can always teach the “science” of leadership skills, but the heart for investing and building into others is an “art”. You are one of those artists!

  2. Thanks Terry, for your great sharing.
    What do I do to continue learning to improve my leadership?
    I love investing my time in good books that deal with character, changes, personal and organizational leadership, team buildding, mentoring and coaching. I like also reading blogs and articles posted. Motivational and how-to books too are for my taste.. To add I like asking questions to good leaders and share my mind.
    How can you contribute to a culture that creates new leaders? Apart from formal training I can give, I can invest more in younger leaders.
    Which books could you recommend to me?

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting, Edouard! I am encouraged by your desire to grow and grateful for how you invest in other leaders. I too love to learn from books, blogs, and other leaders. Some of my favorite books have been: Necessary Endings and Integrity by Henry Cloud, and Leading with a Limp by Dan Allender. I am reading Boundaries for Leaders, also by Henry Cloud and Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg now. How about you? What are some of your favorite leadership books?

  3. Leadership training is hard to do well, because we all have an idea about what good leadership is, and want to argue about it more than practice it. It’s a real challenge isn’t it, to match passion with good connection and techniques. I continue learning by reading, by talking with others, by testing my own thoughts in conversation and practice. I try to be honest.

      • Thanks! I appreciate your support. Community is vital to expanding our consciousness and ideas.

        In your blog, your wrote: “I believe that women are essential to making important world changes in society through our relationships, families, and jobs today. To do that, we need the support, advocacy, and partnership of the men in our lives, but we also need to believe in ourselves to step confidently into the places that we are created and gifted to fill. ”

        Itʻs our communities that make the biggest difference in that!

      • Very much agree. Healthy community relationships are often what helped me most to know myself and believe in myself enough to step forward! I hope I am also that kind of help for others.

      • I expect you are. Right now, Iʻm in a place where my community is growing and changing, and one of the ways Iʻm deciding on next steps is this: when the relationship feels healthy, when I feel connected, useful and in the flow of a part of the community, Iʻm really feeding those relationships. The ones that feel malnourished, I have to assess if I need to change my behavior, re-nourish those connections, if itʻs healthy for all of us. Iʻm really talking about personal community. In a work situation, we may not have the choice to focus on certain parts of the community — we may have to nourish healthy relationships with difficult people or organizations. The ability to do that marks the difference between moments when we lead effectively, and moments when we stumble as leaders.

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