Leaders have a lot of responsibilities. We must help our organization survive, no thrive. We have to help create a vision and mission people can get behind. There’s also helping to motivate team members to get their tasks accomplished.
I’m missing more than a few on this list. It’s not exhaustive but you get the idea.
However, I do want to touch on one responsibility of a leader that I intentionally left out. This responsibility is the responsibility to make people better (or to give them the opportunity to become better).
Make People Better
One often overlooked responsibility of a leader is to help make your people better. When you hear this, you may not believe it’s your responsibility to make them better. Yet it is.
You cannot lead people without making them better. You have to look at your team and think of ways to make your people better.
What does this look like? You make your people better when you:
Give them stretch goals:
Stretch goals will push your team members to their limits. They may see it as a challenge but they also see a stretch goal as something that can be accomplished.
Help your team members set stretch goals that will pull them out of their comfort zone. Stretch goals will also help your team members become more well-rounded and comfortable with what they can do.
Give encouraging words:
Your team needs to hear from you. What they need to hear from you is not what you think it is.
Your team needs to hear you share encouraging words. You need to tell them when they do a great job or when they’ve exceeded your expectations.
They hear your discouraging words too often. Give them encouraging words and let them know what they do well.
Give your team members the tools to be better:
There are so many things you can do to make your team members better. The best way to make people better is to give them the tools to be better.
While your team members can get these tools elsewhere, a great leader will give their team members the tools. What are these tools?
Learning materials such as LinkedIn Learning
Personal growth time
A learning library at the office
These tools will help your team members become better, at their jobs and in their lives.
Give your ear:
Yes, your ear… Not your car.
Your team members are living, breathing people. They have lives outside of work. Sometimes situations in their personal life will flood into their work life.
Be willing to give your ear to your team. Be willing to listen.
This will make them better by knowing they have someone they can count on to listen. A listening ear makes burdens easier to bear.
Give your grace:
Your people are trying to get better. They’re going to make mistakes. You can do something to help them become better.
Give your grace to your people.
When they’re struggling, offer grace. When they’re doing great, offer grace. And when they move on, offer grace.
Grace gives them the opportunity to mess up, to try new things, to figure out what works. Give them grace and watch them go.