The focus of many leadership development approaches is to help leaders build their skills, knowledge, and abilities to enhance performance. These are necessary conversations, but by themselves, are not sufficient for continual growth. If we really want to ensure that growth continues, people need to identify and build positive relationships that fuel personal and professional development. In our experience, the significance of relationships often doesn’t come up in growth plans or performance conversations. Yet, talk with anyone about their growth as a human being or, more specifically, as a leader, and the influence of others will quickly become apparent. Who we surround ourselves with and stay connected to will determine almost everything in our life, including our leadership development.
As we launch into another week, let’s consider the power of relationships. For us, the most natural way to do this is through some reflective questions. Intentionally set aside five to ten minutes to think about a few of these relational/developmental questions.
- What’s the best mentoring or coaching experience you’ve ever had? Why was it so effective for you
- Who are your truth-tellers? Do you need more truth-tellers in your life and leadership to get the feedback you need to hear?
- Who do you talk to when you have a problem? Who do your people go to when they have a problem?
- What relationships have you considered developing or leveraging to help you grow as a leader?
- Whose potential are you excited about? How can you get closer to that individual for the sake of development?
- What abilities are you trying to develop, and who could provide tangible perspective to grow in those abilities?
- Are there individuals in the organization with whom you need to spend more time? What about outside the organization?
- How can you more intentionally mentor or coach those on your team?
Final Thought: Don’t underestimate the power of relationships to either support or hinder your development and that of others.