Four Secrets to Developing Good Leaders
We’ve been studying leaders now for some 40+ years. No one style or approach makes a good leader. So if you want good (maybe even great) leaders in your organization, how do you develop them? Here are four secrets that we have learned.
Knowing Leader-Self
Every good leader we have met has a very centered presence— they know themselves. They know their strengths and weaknesses. For sure, at their core they know their purpose and why they lead. They have a deep understanding of what they are all about and how that can
be used to impact an organization. We call that knowing Leader-Self. So the first secret to developing good leaders is to help your candidates find out who they are, their purpose, and how that can impact your company, function, or department.
EngaginG Team
The second secret to developing good leaders is to teach them how to effectively engage their people and teams. This may seem not necessary since often leaders have positional power and can tell subordinates what to do. The reality is that to achieve real commitment, not compliance requires an ability to connect and engage others not just command them. Some leaders have more ability here than others—often we call that charisma. With focus, this is a skill that can be learned and perfected. So if you want to develop good leaders, teach them capabilities to engage others which also helps manage their brand with others.
Reading the Circumstances

Every leader, new or tenured, finds themselves within a certain set of circumstances. These circumstances include the resources the organization has, the talent, the competing issues, multiple problem sets and initiatives, the lack of certain things, and multiple perspectives on what should be done to move forward. Thus the third secret to developing good leaders is to teach them to read and prioritize their circumstances. Reading the circumstances often needs to be done with speed and accuracy in order to create the best results. The better the read of their surroundings, the more successful the leader.
Challenging the Way
The fourth secret to developing good leaders is to teach them to challenge the way. Meaning all organizations have their "tried-and-true" methods for engaging customers and processing the business. Often these methods have grown up over many years. Good leaders know
when to challenge these and which ones. Many times these are delicate issues with individual agendas and implications attached. Good leaders are able to work this gauntlet successfully. The outcome is a more efficient, effective organization with better results.Doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get better results doesn’t work, so teaching leaders how to effectively challenge the way is critical to the organization's success.

Executive Partners is a business improvement consulting firm with over 30 years of experience implementing business improvement results. They have worked with organizations from mid sized to fortune 100, developing efficiency strategies, business case analysis, and assisting in technology upgrades.

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