Skip to main content

Moving Up, Lessons in Leadership

As I've pondered success and growing into new levels of success I am reminded of an interview I had recently with a former supervisor. Since we last really sat down to chat we've both had promotions. He shared something that had never occured to me regarding leadership. It takes new skills at each level. These are the levels in my field, but the principles will carry over into other fields.


  1. The front line employee is taking calls and is responsible only to himself, for the most part. 
  2. The front line Lead position is still right there in the mix and has a lot of influence, taking escalated issues and irate customers, but this person has influence over each of his direct reports in a very real and immediate way. 
  3. The front line Supervisor is a salary position. It's full of meetings and reports. Due to the nature of this position the person has a lead or two under them along with 15-30 front line staff. This person would like to be there in the middle of it all, sharing their expertise, and is able to at some level. But the administrative details of the position make it hard to balance. 
  4. The Manager. Now for a person who was VERY hands on at the Front Line, Lead and Supervisor level there comes a switch. It could be intimidating for a Front Line employee to be coached by someone this far above them. So the Manager cannot be in the midst of it or the results could be counter productive. He must now lead through his leaders. This process is the other side of delegation. 
Delegation, is what I want to ponder right now. I've always thought of delegation as the simple handing out of tasks and following up on their progress. But as I've studied this more, and read books like "The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey", I've realized it's more about trust than anything else. You must develop your people into people you can trust. You also can't wait around for them to become that way on their own. Some will never get their, due to their own choices or mindsets, these you will have to lay aside and allow to stay where they are until their light turns on. Most can be lead into leadership.

Delegation is about training the next generation of leaders. I think of Jesus, how he took a rag tag band of people and turned them into the group that would turn the Roman world upside down. How did he do it? Did he personally train 1,000's of people? No. And neither can an effective high level manager. Instead, He trained 120 people superficially in meetings, 12 people one and one, and 3 people he allowed into his inner most circle and closest experiences to watch him and learn.

So likewise, if you want leaders you have to train them to be leaders. At the Lead Level, you can allow some of your Front Line to take on small responsiblities, maybe sending out an email when new information comes out on a particular subject. This will take the load off of you in creating the email and through simple edits and collaberation you can duplicate your time and start training a leader.

At the Supervisor level you can begin to designate higher level tasks and time to do them, not long time, but time. Also at the Supervisor level you take your leads and let them into your inner circle to start getting in their head. The sooner they are thinking right the sooner you can trust them to make decisions you would have made in your absence.

At the Manager level you have many people under you. You can't personally coach them all, but you can work with your leaders to lead others to lead. The problem is you now have people with their own needs, desires, and ideas. You have to work with them. You can't create carbon copies of leaders. But what you can do is find their potential within and bring it out of them.

In all levels you have to find trust. This is what my leaders have done in and for me over the years that has produced a leader, in training, in me. They didn't JUST assign me projects, they actually asked me to decide what types of projects I could/would like to work on. They were digging out of me something they never could have put in me.

When training a leader...

  1. What is their motivation?
  2. What is their strength?
  3. What is their strongest area of growth (formerly known as weakness)?
  4. What can you asign them, at their level, in line with business needs, that they can work on themselves?
  5. What can you show/demonstrate/allow them access to that they wouldn't see without your allowing them? 
  6. Be an Open Book. Don't disclose condidential information, or share EVERY attitude and thought you have about the staff around you, that's just foolish and immature. But DO be an open book. If you struggled with something and you found a way to overcome, share the struggle not just the solution. The process you used to overcome is often MORE valuable than the solution itself. 
  7. ... Other ideas about developing leaders? Please share below. 
See this video also: Antony Bell on Developing Leaders






Have questions about anything I said here? Want to share your story? Comment Below!

I call you empowered 2 prosper with good success!


N2 Good SuccessDarrell G. Wolfe
Blog: http://n2gs.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/n2goodsuccess
Twitter: http://twitter.com/n2goodsuccess

See Also:
Books by Darrell G. Wolfe: Amazon.com/author/darrellgwolfe 
Book Suggestions from the N2 Good Success Amazon Store
Brand and Product Offerings from N2 Good Success Zazzle Store
Other Blogs and Sites by the Wolfe Family: http://wfconceptions.wordpress.com/ 

Comments

Sign Up

Consider Supporting This Site: Become a Patron! Sign Up so you don't miss a post:

Special Delivery

* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

Powered by MailChimp

Darrell's Reading List


Here are some books I've been reading lately:
  • Hacker: The Outlaw Chronicles (here) by Ted Dekker (Author). The story of a young Hacker girl, who went on a wild adventure into the supernatural realm beyond trying to save her mom, but saved her self too in the process.
  • Saint: A Paradise Novel (here) by Ted Dekker (Author). He's an assassin, or is he? He finds a secret to his past that unlocks supernatural abilities, at a cost.
  • For a full list of all my book suggestions, see my Amazon Store.

Popular posts from this blog

Writing Craft: Getting UnStuck

Getting UnStuck - Story Structure Guiding The Path It quite common, especially for Pantsers (those who write by the seat of their pants with no real outline or plan ahead of time), to get stuck in your story. At some point, we hit a roadblock, writer's block, and can't think of what the story should be next.

Story Structure Clues

This is, in part, because we don't start with the outline that the stricture Outliners do. We can't even comprehend where the story will be going in order to outline.

However, if we have an idea of the path (the skeleton of the structure), we can start to see a way through the hazy fog of the future. But even then, we can get stuck like I did last night.

I'd written my way through and just couldn't imagine what needed to happen next. I know where the next major plot point is going to be and what (generally) will happen (Destiny is caught by the FBI but Ash escapes). But it's way to early to write that in the story timeline. If I wr…

The W Story Structure - 4 Sequence Story Structure

Out of everything I've ever read on story structure for fiction writing, the W-Story Structure makes the most sense to me. If you'd rather view these as Acts (3-Act or 4-Act) you can overlay that on this W and it still works.



Glen C. Strathy writes (in much more detail here) in his article, The W-Plot vs. The Dramatica Model of Story Structure. There are four sequences for most stories. Each of the four legs of the W is comprised of a sequence of events that lead the story along to it's natural conclusion.

Sequence 1: setting up the problem (creating tension)Sequence 2: recovering from the problem (new ideas, positive momentum)Sequence 3: deepening of the problemSequence 4: the resolution of the problem (new light or understanding)

Sequence 1: setting up the problem (creating tension)
The Inciting Event (the event that is at the heart of the reason this story happened) may have occurred before your story begins, and often does. In King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017), th…

The Future of Work: Is being a writer (artist, musician, creative) an impractical career?

In a writers group on Facebook, a young writer asked (edited):
How do you respond to family members saying that being a writer is impractical? This is a great question. When I was going to college I stopped pursuing music and theater because it didn't seem to lead to a "practical career". I got bogged down in other things and eventually dropped out (after six years and 78 units). But times are changing and we're in a new type of revolution.

So, what do you think?
What is the future of work? How would you respond?
What is impractical, what does that even mean?First, you reply:
You said 'impractical' when I think you meant 'I'm Practical'. The root of Impractical is Practical, or to be "not-practical". The word practical is derived from the root word PRACTICE.
practicale "of or pertaining to matters of practice; applied,"  All careers require a great deal of practice, hard work, study of the chosen field, and many small wins before th…

Writing Craft: Show / Don't Tell

Lessons I've learned about writing...

In the world of creative writing, no phrase or lesson is more repeated than the famous:
Show Don't Tell What does that mean, exactly? It means don't give me a fact but show it to me. Let the actions of the character tell me he's nervous. Let the characters actions and motives be so tied to the setting, that they direct what details I get to see.


Read this:

Dr. Briar sat nervously on a hand-made leather chair with mahogany inlays. 
Now read this:

Dr. Briar sat fidgeting in a hand-made leather chair, rotating his middle finger around on the mahogany inlays. 
What's different?

Dr. Briar sat nervously on a hand-made leather chair with mahogany inlays.  Dr. Briar sat fidgeting in a hand-made leather chair, rotating his middle finger around on the mahogany inlays. 
We show him fidgeting and rotating his finger, this gives us more reason to talk about the inlays. But could this be better? Sure, there are a thousand ways to write this sent…

Writing Prompt | Room and Bored

At the Heart Writers group meeting tonight, led by Lauren Stinton, we did a short writing prompt.

You have seven minutes to write (fiction or nonfiction) and it must include these three items/themes:

Jesus is Lord of allPrincessCat
Here is my result, with a bit of post-meeting editing and addition. Keep in mind, I wrote it in OneNote on my phone...

*** Room and Bored The light amplified through the double glass window pane, despite the clawed dusty drapes, warming Princess' furry belly. She was Queen of this castle and she held the honor with dignity.

Her human was a good servant. He brought her food at the appointed time. He changed her box. He performed his part admirably.

Then her life shattered.

Her human walked in the front door and laid a box on the table. "Princess, I have a surprise for you, " He said.

She rolled off the couch back and sauntered over. The pawed the box. It moved. She jumped back, "Moew," she cried.

A soft rumble came from the box.

Her hu…

Other sites I follow: