Leadership Is About Enabling The Full Potential In Others by Glenn Llopis at Forbes on 29 July 2014.

This article is not about directly developing your leadership skills, but rather developing others to their potential – a responsibility of leadership. The author provides four methods to help develop your followers:

  • Encourage them to think and act in ways that come most naturally to them (we’ve seen this in several other articles – you need to be authentic)
  • Develop their decision-making abilities (help them learn rational decision-making skills, learn to become aware of potential blind spots, and being aware of potential follow-on consequences of those decisions)
  • Expand their performance tolerance threshold (helping people take their skills to new levels)
  • Strengthen potential by surrounding it with those even stronger (look at creating high-performance teams with complementary skills)

I’d like to expand on the third point of expanding their performance tolerance threshold. This is not the thoughtless loading of a camel until the last straw breaks its back, but rather a systemic increase of challenge complexity. As leaders, we can sometimes see more potential in people than they see in themselves – these challenging (yet achievable) tasks help them see just how much more they are capable of.

For example, most people couldn’t bench press their own weight if you asked them to right now. If, however, you understand what they are capable of right now, you can develop a plan that will help them grow and develop. It won’t be right away, but through a gradual increase – they will see themselves push past imaginary barriers, leaving them excited about their future potential. This applies not only in the physical realm but in the mental realm as well.

Share This