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Leaders Should Constantly Improve and Develop Their Team Members

Here is a revealing exercise that I run in my leadership development programs and one-on-one coaching sessions. If you would like to participate, grab a writing instrument and a piece of paper.

The exercise is to answer these three questions while thinking about a typical two-week period at work:

  1. What percentage of your time is spent attending meetings, participating in conference calls, or reading/responding/deleting/sending emails?
  2. What percentage of your time is spent reviewing work progress or results (this includes reading and reviewing documents or reports), or on generating reports or presentations related to work progress or results?
  3. What percentage of your time is spent doing Individual Contributor work?

Add up the three figures. Is the total higher than 80%? Higher than 90%?

Subtract the total from 100. That’s the percent of time remaining in your typical work life for developing your people.

For many leaders, especially mid-level leaders and supervisors, people development time is less than 15%. Yet people development is (or should be) one of the key priorities for all leaders, as it is one of the most important drivers of sustainable success for any organization.

In fact, I would suggest that people development should be the single most important priority for all leaders. After all, if a leader is one who achieves progress through the involvement and actions of others, then greater progress will be made when the people being led are constantly being developed and improved.

Additionally, great leaders know that people development can be a highly leveraged catalyst for individuals as well as for the organization. That is why, as I wrote in the previous post,the best leadership talent is bringing out the talent in others.

Your thoughts?


This article is excerpted from my book Great Leadership Words of Wisdom, which is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats and has over 1000 quotes on leadership from global business leaders, statesmen, athletes, coaches, sages, and philosophers.

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