One of the most strategic opportunities you and I have is to help other leaders grow. Our Today’s Challenge question is the second one from my recent trip to Birmingham – What’s most important for a leader to keep in mind when investing in an emerging leader?

“Most important” is a challenging qualifier. When you and I attempt to help an emerging leader, we must be mindful of many factors… What are his/her strengths? Weaknesses? What experience does the person already have? Does he or she understand the concept of leadership character? Does the person have leadership character gaps? What leadership skills does he/she already possess? The list of factors to consider is lengthy. However, to answer the initial question directly, when attempting to help another leader grow, what’s most important is to…

Be Intentional.

Be intentional regarding who you invest your time developing. Not everyone who asks for your time should get it. You need to think about the return on your time. Invest where you believe the organization, or society, will receive a return.

Be intentional about sharing your leadership point-of-view. To speak in vague generalities doesn’t help. Be specific. What’s your definition of leadership? Be prepared to share it.

Be intentional concerning your time together. When will you meet? How long will you meet? What is the duration of the agreement? Will you meet once a month for 12 months? Decide and get the dates on the calendar.

Be intentional to ask great questions. The better questions you ask, the more the emerging leader will learn. What questions will you ask? Create a list of your favorites before each meeting. Ask one and then listen…the sound you hear is someone learning.

Be intentional regarding action learning. Most of what any of us know about leadership, we learned by leading. If you want to help another leader grow, create real-life opportunities for them to practice what you’re talking about – that’s when they’ll really understand it.

Be intentional regarding recommended resources. Don’t expect your time with an emerging leader to be sufficient to help them grow. You and I need to be intentional regarding our own growth and development so we’ll have something to pass on to others. What good books have you read recently? Pass it on.

Be intentional as you share your victories and setbacks. Transparency and vulnerability will go a long way towards establishing the trust we all need if we’re going to impact others. Share your wins and loses.

Time with emerging leaders is an investment in the future. If you will be intentional, their impact will outlive you.[GLS_Shield]

How can you be more intentional as it relates to developing emerging leaders?

Author: Mark Miller

Mark is a business leader, author, communicator, photographer, husband, and father. He spends his time helping leaders grow.