My goal is to develop leaders that flourish by committing themselves to becoming a resource for a purpose outside of their own self-interest. This is no easy task, and it is as much or more about the heart and mind of the leader as it is about her skills and abilities. It is easier to teach a leader what needs to be done and how to do it better than it is to convince them why their purposeful servant leadership matters.
The key to developing this kind of leader is developing this kind of follower. If you don’t learn the value of living and working for something bigger than your own self-interest and helping others do the same as a follower, you just won’t get it as a leader.
The foundation of sound leadership development to me is helping people learn to be courageous, partner followers. Partners are purposeful actors that give 110% to the responsibilities they have been given, but are also always thinking about how they can help their leader and others improve how their work is done. They have the courage to say to the leader or anyone else what needs to said to advance the shared purpose. They understand this is their responsibility if they are to have healthy, reciprocal relationship with their leader. If you have not practiced right relationship as a follower, you just won’t appreciate it and encourage it in your followers when you become a leader.