The Art and Science of Developing High Performing Team Members

“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.”
Tom Peters

The Art or He“art” of Leadership Development

To develop others, you must believe in yourself and the vision. Developing team members to their best potential is not a direct path. One of the big misconceptions is that having a “tough conversation” with someone will produce lasting change.  In my experience, it creates a blip of activity that seems like change is happening, and in reality, it is only short lived. To coach and develop someone takes time.

“Change happens gradually, then suddenly.”
Seth Godin

Coaching and development take commitment to the individual and the journey of their development. Often, I have leaders say to me “I don’t believe this person can change” or “people don’t change”. This statement is not true, people change all the time.

“You can’t change who they are, you can change how they are.”
Bobbie Goheen

They grow and develop new patterns and skills regularly. Development is not a straight path, people can gain knowledge and intellectual insight, and to get the experience they need to link the knowledge to action takes time and practice.  Development of leaders means you are in it for the long haul. It means you have created an environment of consistent feedback both positive and growth oriented.

The Science

There is a science to developing others, which includes a few of the following steps:

  1. Create an environment of trust, respect, support and open communication
  2. Teach everyone the skills of feedback for achievement and growth
  3. Co-design a professional “soft skills” development plan with your team
  4. Provide them with skills, tools and reinforcement to expand their skill set
  5. Set the bar for yourself that your team members will be the most “coveted” professionals in the industry
  6. Be prepared to grow and adapt your skills to achieve #5
  7. Learn to seek the subtle movement of growth and development
  8. Set up regular small stretch goals to create positive momentum
  9. Don’t be the expert, be the coach to your team

These are the core steps to begin to build an environment of high-performance team members.

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