Do You Develop Your People?

When creating a leadership culture, positions don’t count. People are people, leaders are leaders. However, highly effective leaders know how to create a leadership culture. Embrace it.

Becoming a highly effective leader is not a job position, and it is not part of a job description. Being a highly effective leader is a way of life, it is a lifelong commitment.

Regardless of what level you are in your organisation, whether it is CEO, Director, Head of department, Manager, or Supervisor, all highly effective leaders have the same responsibility.

1. Creating The Right Culture

That responsibility is to create the culture within their team that they lead, and to develop their team to live and breathe that culture.

Whatever level you are at right now on the leadership ladder, I want to help you to start thinking like a highly effective leader.

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You are reading this post because you want to change your mindset, and you want to either become a highly effective leader, or you want to become an even better highly effective leader for your team and organisation.

If you are working on yourself every day, and I want to give you some further tools to help you develop further.

You will have the ability and the tools to lead the way in your organisation. You can create the right culture for your organisation as a whole, not just in your team, or your department. It is my job to help you to increase your influence with everyone in your organisation.

When you are in a position to increase your influence, you will know that you have reached the top level of being a highly effective leader. You will become known as “the man/woman of the people.” First of all by developing your team, they will spread your influence throughout the organisation for you.

Your influence throughout your organisation will be a far and wide. The people of the organisation will make the decision to see you as their leader, and will follow you. The will make this decision because of who you are and your character, not because of what you can do or the position you currently hold.

That is when you have created the right culture…a leadership culture. When the organisation is led through a leadership culture, you will have free reign to create and develop more leaders. Eventually you will create highly effective team players and leaders.

2. Having The Right Mindset

You do not have to be at the top of the organisation to have this kind of influence throughout the organisation. You just need the right mindset.

Most of the organisations I have worked with throughout my engineering career, whenever they wanted to make a big change, they would always bring in a consultant to help. I was never a person who liked consultants, especially when they were telling me how to lead my team when they had only been there a few days.

I always thought that change could be grown from within, we just needed to work together to do it. Not be told how to manage or lead a team by a consultant who didn’t have a lot of experience.

So, whenever I worked with companies to help them, I didn’t want to show the managers how to lead teams. My objective was to help them create a leadership culture that would benefit the whole organisation, and help them create and develop highly effective team players and leaders.

A leadership culture can change an organisation so much for the better. The people of the organisation are encouraged to stand out, and be innovative. The level of moaning and groaning reduces a lot. There is no such thing as a blame culture anymore, and when things go wrong there is no finger pointing.

In fact, when there are problems, the people are more than happy to work the problem and come to a solution together. There is less planning, and more action. There is more walking the walk than talking the talk. Most of all, the leaders of the organisation love and respect their people and their people love and respect them too.

With that respect from both the leaders and the people, everyone is a lot happier. So, when it comes to developing the people, they embrace personal growth and want to grow. They are listening to and following their leader because they want to. They are being innovative and trying to create positive change because they want to.

They are trying to improve the organisations policies and procedures because they want to. They want to do these things for the benefit of their teammates, colleagues, and the whole organisation. A leadership culture within an organisation creates a win/win situation for everyone.

I have led and created a leadership culture in places I have worked and also in places I have helped. It is an amazing thing to start, be a part of, and when it is successful there is no better feeling in the world.

I am encouraging you that no matter what position you hold within your organisation, have a highly effective leader’s mindset and accept the responsibility to create a leadership culture. If you do this, you will attract people who want to help you. Firstly, starting with your own team and then moving on to the next team.

This is by no means an easy task. This will be one of the most challenging things you will ever do in your life, believe me. You will need to inspire, motivate, lead, encourage, and engage with the people in your team and organisation.

3. Are You Ready To Take On The Challenge?

I’ve been part of many organisations where they think that by putting up posters on the wall, or on notice boards with famous motivational quotes will do the trick, and will change culture. Unfortunately that is not how it works. It is also not going to work if you go around talking about how you want to change culture, and what your vision is.

To implement any kind of change, especially a culture change, we need to take a lot of action. The first action we must take is by developing the people, encouraging the people, engaging the people. People, people, people is our first and most important port of call.

The final output of creating a leadership culture is better company policies, procedures, processes, more profit, and reduced cost. But we cannot achieve any of this without developing and helping our people.

To create a leadership culture anywhere in the world, then we must think, behave, act, and live like a highly effective leader. We are going to instigate this change of culture, so it is so important. A leadership culture can bring so many benefits to everyone involved. It becomes more than just a place of work; it becomes a way of life.

Leadership is influence, so to achieve this challenge; our influence must increase with everyone in the organisation. You can learn all about processes and management skills, but to increase your influence, you need the people and you need to develop them.

I have attended many management skills courses, and learned the tools about coaching and mentoring. But, to lead people, you need to do more than attend a few courses. You need to read books. You need to practice what you learn.

Most organisations when they are trying to change culture focus on the wrong things. They focus on the different tools you can use. For example, lean working. These are all well and good but they focus on processes and tools rather than people.

4. Focus On The Right Thing…PEOPLE

A leadership culture requires us to be deliberate on what we focus on…people. Our mission is to change culture, not to improve our processes and profit. They are a benefit of us changing the culture, not the focus.

What you read throughout my site will not only help you to develop your people, change your culture into a leadership culture, increase your influence with your team and your organisation. It will help you to develop a highly effective leader’s mindset, and live like a highly effective leader.

Leadership is a way of life, not a job. The rewards of creating a leadership culture are phenomenal, and I encourage you to grab this opportunity with both hands.

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Creating a leadership culture with the people of your organisation is a team effort. They will have just as much input as you, and that is the most rewarding thing about it. Leading the people to become leaders is what increasing your influence is about.

Leaders create leaders, who then create more leaders, who then create more leaders. Influence is like a snowball effect which grows and grows over time.

A compelling vision from a leader is great. But, if the leader does not take action and implement the steps required to strive towards the vision, then it is not so great.

There is no point in visualising and exciting your people if you don’t act up on it. A leadership culture will enable the people to act upon your vision for you and make it their own…think about it.

I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.

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All the best,

Tom (Lead, Grow, Influence)

10 thoughts on “Do You Develop Your People?

  1. Hi Tom,

    Thanks for this post. I completely agree with your cultural approach to developing leadership.

    My current organisation has recently embarked on a considerable leadership development effort. I think we were all in agreement that the tools we were taught to help us more effectively understand our colleagues continue to be incredibly valuable on our journeys to becoming effective leaders.

    Could you share one of your favourite exercises or techniques for building leadership culture?

    Thanks,
    Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m so happy that you found the article helpful.

      It’s great to hear about your organisation’s leadership development. Be sure to work on what you learn every day, and help others to do the same.

      In answer to your question, the only technique/exercise I do for building a leadership culture is, creating more highly effective leaders. How do I do that? I increase my influence. How do I do that? I lead by example, and lead from the front. But, most importantly, I teach my people how to lead. I teach them the principles that I have learned throughout my life. Culture is not something you change overnight with exercises or techniques. You change and maintain culture every single day. Teach and lead by example, and you will not go far wrong.

      I hope that helps. If you need any further advice or help then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

      All the best,

      Tom

  2. Hi Tom,

    Great article. My contention with modern day leadership is most still subscribe to the “Law of Diminishing Returns.” Where the boss refuses to surround themselves with people that compliment them and instead, hire those who are less smart than themselves. That doesn’t lead to better teamwork or production.

    I am glad to see that your article focuses on “growing leaders” and teamwork. Ideally, that is the best. Your article brings a breath of fresh air to me as I can identify with it very well. I will share your article with some people here that can benefit from it.

    Stay safe,

    Brian

    1. Hi Brian,

      Thank you so much for your comment. I am extremely grateful for sharing my article, that is very kind.

      The ‘Law of Diminishing Returns’, you are absolutely right. I still work with some leaders who definitely subscribe to that law, and are obsessed with power. They do not want people in their team who could probably do a better job than them. Whereas real highly effective leaders want people to be better then them, and want to create more highly effective leaders. You are so right.

      Thank you again, and you keep safe too.

      All the best,

      Tom

  3. Dear Tom. A Great post with a lot of food for thought. I guess this is why it is so important to be in an occupation that you are really passionate about, because without that passion and drive you will probably never be able to be in that position where you can be an effective leader and in the process effect change and cultivate a leadership mentality amongst your worker corpse.

    I think to develop highly effective workers, interpersonal relationships are absolutely key. I have worked for so many bosses before with a dictatorship style, but due to their lack of people skills they have not built the necessary rapport to effect change within their company effectively.

    My current boss has a lot of influence to effect change as the working corpse wants to please due to the respect she demands due to her open door policy and personal relationship with each of her workers. I guess this is why a dictatorship style will never effect real change in a company. It is the positive relationship you have with your workers that effects real change within a company.

    1. Hi Schalk,

      Thank you for your comment. I am so pleased that you found the article valuable.

      You are so right. Interpersonal relationships with others in your team, and your organisation is the most important. As you build relationships, you are increasing your influence, and as you increase your influence you are leading them. So, keep building relationships and increasing your influence.

      Positivity in your relationships is definitely how you effect change in the right way. Just be sure to work on yourself every single day, and help others to do the same, and you will bring in the change you want/need.

      Keep engaging and if you need any further help then please let me know.

      All the best,

      Tom

  4. Wonderful article and when put the way you have done, it just sounds like common sense.

    But I think we all know that common sense and highly effective leaders are actually far less common than we would like.

    In this horrible testing time, it is encouraging that we have an highly effective leader here as PM in the UK. Whether you agree with his politics or not, his leadership qualities are shining through on every level.

    In contrast, a recent news story shows a local elected government official refusing to get out of a swimming pool in a locked down hotel. Common sense and leadership qualities lacking in abundance.

    Leading by example should be first and foremost in the minds of all government officials at this time.

    1. Hi Lawrence,

      Thank you for your comment. Very pleased you found it helpful.

      It is a horrible time at the moment, so we are craving highly effective leadership all over the world, not just in the UK. The PM is really doing his best and he is portraying great leadership skills. If his team could follow him, just like you say, then we could possibly be in a much better position with testing etc. I don’t want to get into that here 🙂

      You are right, we can only lead by example if we want our people to follow us.

      Keep returning and keep engaging. If you need help with your leadership or personal growth then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

      All the best,

      Tom

  5. Hi Tom,

    Great post on leadership. Leading people is one of the most difficult thing to do. And could also be a very rewarding task if well handled.

    I have been privileged to lead and one of the thing that worked for me is my ability to work with my staff as a team and not as a boss.

    I like when you mentioned leaders are to keep developing themselves. The place of self development cannot be overemphasize. And as you mentioned not just attending trainings, but reading books and acting on it will make a better and effective leader.

    Leaders are influencers. And they determine the culture in the workplace.

    Ultimately, effective leaders beget effective leaders.
    I will sure bookmark this.

    This a Great post for visionary leaders.

    Blessings,

    1. Hi Abby,

      Thank you so much for your amazing comment. It’s great that someone of your integrity has read my post.

      I love that you are a leader, and you share the same thoughts as I do. Developing ourselves as leaders, especially in these testing times, is the best thing we can do for ourselves and our people.

      Leadership is influence, and to influence our people we need to add value to them.

      Please keep returning and keep engaging.

      All the best to you, and keep safe.

      Tom

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