The Greatest Gift: Supporting Personal And Professional Growth For Others by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC

There are many different reasons why people become leaders. Some are driven by the desire to be in control or have their vision guide the company or the business. Others become leaders through natural progression and seniority, even if they never aspired to be in a leadership position.

No matter how leadership occurs, every leader leaves a legacy. One of the greatest gifts a leader can provide to an organization and a team is to give the gift of supporting others in their personal and professional growth. By supporting others, the leader leaves a legacy of team members focused on the importance of growth and development, ensuring robust leadership for the future.

There are several reasons why the support of others is a critical part of being an effective leader. Understanding the reasons behind this leadership focus helps new and current leaders leave a learning and growth legacy.

Authentic Connection

Most people have worked for poor leaders and great leaders. Great leaders are those who are authentic, genuine, and empathetic. In creating this authentic connection by supporting others, people naturally feel more confident in stepping out of their comfort zone and trying out new ideas and creative solutions.

Feeling authentically connected to a leader gives the team a sense of value and importance. They also develop an understanding that the leader is in a helping and mentor or coach role, there to provide support and guidance but not to control or dictate growth.

Fosters Curiosity

When leaders support team members in personal and professional growth, the workplace environment changes from doing things rotely to demonstrating curiosity. The team members know they are encouraged to learn new skills, develop a better understanding, or suggest and try new ideas.

In fostering curiosity and supporting initiatives, leaders open the door to better problem solving, creative solutions, and integrating ideas from other teams, disciplines, or processes. The result is a team that feels comfortable in thinking outside the box and in taking the lead in creating new solutions for challenges and problems.

Increases Inclusion and Responsibility

Supporting others in becoming skilled, knowledgeable, or experienced in different areas allows the leader to increase inclusion in decision making and analysis. It also provides the opportunity for the leader to delegate more responsibility to the team or individuals, which increases the experience and expertise within the team.

As a leader, supporting others is critical to leaving a positive legacy. Promoting growth and lifelong learning is an amazing gift that will continue giving and improving the workplace environment for years to come.