Every single place that I work is in a white-hot battle for talent. Today’s biggest constraint isn’t money or opportunity; it’s finding enough of the right people to get the job done properly.
Pair this with the dismal statistics of parachuting outside people into senior seats in hopes of finding the silver bullet (most studies give it a 50/50 chance of success) and you realize we all have a huge problem (not enough leaders) and a huge opportunity: developing leaders from within.
If you’re a leader today, you likely went through 3 steps to get there. The steps are always the same:
- Someone saw potential in you and told you so
- Someone invested in your life
- Someone gave you real responsibility
Someone saw potential in you
The first recollection I have of this happening to me was when I was in about grade 8 and my then youth pastor (now friend) Mark took me aside, told me he thought I could be a leader, and asked me to serve on a leadership team. I was shocked and flattered, and laid in bed wondering if what he said could possibly be true. That was my start.Have you pulled anyone aside this year and told them you saw leadership potential in them?
Someone invested in your life
One of my life mentors was Bud, my farm boss of 30-ish years ago. He cared about me, kicked me in the pants, encouraged me, displayed great patience and occasionally great frustration, and taught me about life and work. I’ve had many since.Who are you mentoring today?
Someone gave you real responsibility
At the end of the day, leaders are made in the trenches, not in the classroom. At some point, you need to say, “Here’s a job. I feel confident that you can get it done – go to it!”
You’ve got lots of other things to do, but few are more important than developing your young leaders. Take a step. Find someone you believe in and begin mentoring them!