Action Catalyst Blog

Why You Aren’t Growing Other Leaders


Most organizations are terrible at growing and developing new leaders; but they can’t figure out why.

It’s because their current leaders aren’t trained to be leaders. Typically their current leaders became leaders by being great performers.

And what got you here as a performer, won’t get you there as a leader.

Performers do great work.

But leaders help get other people to do great work.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do great work as a leader, or that you should do less work.

It just means that a large part of your new work is helping other people to do great work. A large part of your new role as a leader is developing other leaders.

And very often that means you letting go, giving up control, and allowing for other people to step up and help.

Yet if you’ve been a top performer who has become a leader, you will likely be plagued by challenging self-talk such as:

They won’t be able to do it as well as I can.

It’s just faster for me to do it myself.

I’m really the only person who knows how to do this.

No one else can really be trusted with this.

And even,

I don’t think anyone else is capable of figuring this out.

While those are very normal and natural thoughts they are, at their very core, just examples of leadership FEAR.

Remember FEAR stands for false evidence appearing real.

And those are fears because they are things that seem logical in your brain, yet they are powered by emotionally irrational thinking.

The surprising reality is that in most cases people will rise to the level of leadership you allow to be available to them.

People rise up.

People step up.

People figure it out.

People find a way.

So assuming you are surrounded by good people, you don’t have to hang onto everything yourself.

Give yourself the permission of short term imperfection and empower someone else to improve their skill set and complete more of the crucial tasks.

You’ll likely be impressed that they rise to the level of leadership you allow to be available to them.

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