Every leader must aspire to lead well. No. Actually, every leader must lead well. The use of “aspiring” has been reason for too many leaders putting into the future what they should be practicing now.
It’s fairly common talk that great leaders make more leaders and not followers. It is not leadership when it doesn’t produce leaders. Leaders don’t only exist to lead people; they are there to raise leaders.
Leaders are leaders when they produce more than just followers, but more leaders.
The first step to raising more leaders is taking the “follower” label off those you lead. Those you lead are not likely to rise above the labels you place them. Treat those you lead as colleagues and not followers. Helping people realize they are more; that they can be more is the first step to uplifting them.
This doesn’t me you can’t assert your authority as leader, when necessary. It means you expect more from your team by expecting of them the leadership and thinking that your position requires. This threatens insecure leaders.
Insecure leaders are incapable of raising leaders. This is because they see any equipping as a conspiracy against themselves. To an extent, they are right.
Raising other leaders is about making yourself replaceable.
Instead of working against you this can actually work for you, in the sense that it sets you free to focus on other things. When you can grow other people to do what you do, it creates room for you, as a leader, to challenge yourself in other areas.
The reason why some leaders never grow is that they don’t intentionally grow out of their present responsibilities and positions. This starts by making sure that someone can do what you do.
Great leaders raise leaders that are, at least, able to do what they do. John Maxwell states talks about the Law of the Lid, where the leaders determines how high people he leads can rise. You haven’t led until you have, at least, brought people to your level.
Obliterate the word, “Followers” from your organization’s vocabulary. Epitomize the principle of following but stop calling those you lead your followers. They are your colleagues.
Related: What Giving Responsibility Can Do
This sets your team free from looking to you for answers. When you treat those you lead as leaders, they start taking ownership of decisions and strategies. They see themselves as responsible for thinking ahead. For innovation. For foresight. After all, these are some of the qualities expected in leaders.
You may want to stop having “team meetings” and start having “leadership meetings”. This makes your team bold in the face of decision-making…
You haven’t started raising leaders if, “Followers” still exists in your organisation… Start there.