What is the Purpose of being a leader?

Lets look more closely at the purpose of being a leader.

It is not to be the expert. It is not to be the problem solver.

The true purpose of being a leader is to get results though others. In order to do this you have to develop your direct reports. Develop their skills, their expertise, their potential. Develop people to replace you, for only then can you move up to the next level.

I believe your focus as a leader should be on turning your team structure into a leadership factory. The end game is to develop people who can take over from you.

Think about it logically. To develop people for the next level you must first ensure they are expert at their current level. You should eliminate their problems by identifying what they need to learn, and providing the knowledge or training. You should coach them on putting that learning into practice and becoming expert at doing their jobs. 

This will result in them achieving their goals and KPIs.  As a leader you are now starting to achieve results through others.

Then you should focus on identifying where they go next, what are their aspirations,? what do they need to learn in order to be of greater use to the organization?

Just think about how often organizations recruit middle managers from outside. Think about the “War for Talent”. The constant battle to attract people in from other organizations. When you focus on becoming a Leadership factory, you automatically get the performance on the current job, and release your organization from the pressure of finding talent to lead and support growth.

I have global clients who complain there are locations in the world where they would like a presence and cannot open operations. Not for a want of workers or resources, but simply because they do not have the talent available to go in and manage, or lead the operations.

So ask yourself; what are you doing to develop your team and grow the next generation of leaders?

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