Effective Leadership: Developing Others

by Lee Buford on October 24, 2012

The broad scope of ‘leadership’ comprises quite a large treasure chest of qualities, characteristics, philosophies, methods, systems, and ideas; all for the purpose of helping others and accomplishing goals. While there is no one key or ‘silver bullet’ to effective leadership, there is one essential component that must be included. Being a great leader necessitates that you effectively train and develop those you lead … that you shepherd them well on a daily basis.

Lee Cockerell, a former executive at Disney, Hilton, and Marriott, has a wealth of experience in leadership and people development. In his book, Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney, Cockerell shares these 10 tips for effectively leading well in the area of training and people development:

1. Give people a purpose, not just a job.
Inspire them to higher sense of purpose … a bigger cause, pursuit, or goal which drives their decisions and actions.

2. Take your role as a teacher seriously.
Embrace the role and opportunity to multiply your value by teaching others who then teach others.

3. Become a COACH.
Cockerell outlines the acronym as follows: Care, Observe, Act, Communicate, and Help

4. Teach by example.
As Cockerell reminds us, “Leaders who demand excellence need to model excellence, or they have no credibility.”

5. Teach the principles of great service.
Great service is critical to any and all types of businesses or organizations. A must-have.

6. Train people for Magical Moments and Take 5s.
At Disney, Magical Moments are planned events such as selecting a child to be part of a show, whereas ‘Take 5s’ are spontaneous, or seizing an opportunity to do something special for someone. Cockerell refers to them as “random acts of kindness.” In both cases, the idea is to take the initiative to do something above and beyond to make someone feel special.

7. Teach them how and where to spend their time.
Have a plan that you can teach to others. Make sure others know where to be and what to do at all times … a key component of any good training program.

8. Communicate constantly.
Use a variety of communication vehicles to teach, share best practices, reinforce principles, and keep everyone informed. Constantly.

9. Give feedback immediately and effectively.
Be thoughtful and tactful, quickly offering feedback relative to the performance of those you lead … positive and negative as warranted. For deeper understanding and a better impact, “Don’t just tell it; explain it.”

10. Prepare them for the unexpected.
Things rarely ever go according to plan in any given situation. Anticipate all possible scenarios and rehearse the best responses. Always have back-up plans, and ensure your team understands (and is comfortable with) the plan.

Each of these tips can and should be adapted to suit whatever situation or environment you’re leading in … from a business or large organization, to a church or family setting. At the end of the day, great leadership is all about people and your effectiveness in helping them mature and grow. It’s about leading well, so that others may realize their potential and fulfill their purposes.

When individuals grow and succeed; teams, organizations, and families grow and succeed. And that success starts with your leadership.

Are you leading well? How are you effectively developing others?



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