No Leadership Bottlenecks: Why to Invest in Creating Leaders

Are you successfully developing leaders at all levels in your company? Here are two myths that might be holding you back.

I’ve noticed a concerning gap in how entrepreneurs invest in their businesses. We get the importance of investing time and money in our marketing, sales strategy, and business development.

But all too often, we fail to dedicate resources to leadership development.

Or we reserve that investment for only those at the top — the C-level leaders.

When we don’t have a reliable system for training managers and leaders at every level, we create a decision-making bottleneck. In a startup, that bottleneck might be the CEO. In larger companies, it might be the department leads. 

Sooner or later (and probably sooner) this way of operating slows us down, limits ideas, and prevents our business from scaling. 

When we develop those around us into leaders, our team grows and so do we. 

Find the Leaders on Your Team and Lean In

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

I love this quote by Tom Peters, an author and thought leader I admire, especially when it comes to developing strong teams.

When we see leadership attributes in others and we nurture, mentor, and empower them, they begin to make better decisions.

When we have more people on our team that can make decisions of substance, that bottleneck starts to widen and our organization can scale. 

But why do some leaders avoid investing in developing others?

Aside from simply overlooking this smart opportunity, here are two reasons I see, and both are leadership myths that need addressing: 

  • As a leader, I need to have control over all business decisions.
  • If I develop people on my team into leaders, it will lead me out of a job.

Let’s take a closer look at each myth.

Myth 1: As a leader, I need to have control over all business decisions.

When we fail to develop those around us, we end up working much harder than we need to. All the responsibility falls on our shoulders. The success of our department or meeting a particular goal is up to us to figure out how to achieve. 

That’s a tremendous amount of pressure! 

Instead, by empowering those around you to contribute, take the lead on certain areas, and make decisions, you’ll work toward goals and KPIs together. Your people will go above and beyond to help deliver results when they’re part of a truly collaborative team.

By leading this way, you transition from positional authority, where your title gives you the ability to tell people what to do, to relational authority. Your title is almost irrelevant — you’re a leader because people want to follow you and work with you. 

Myth 2: If I develop people on my team into leaders, it will lead me out of a job.

On the contrary, failing to develop your team members is what may lead you out of a job. 

To grow as an individual and to scale as a team, we need to nurture and develop those around us. We need to cultivate our high-performers who show leadership potential so that they can take on larger responsibilities and play a bigger role in key decisions while they’re still under our wing. 

In my experience, the strongest leaders in any company are the ones who are great at developing the people around them. And the best way to move up in an organization is to train and mentor the up-and-coming leaders around so they’re ready to step in when you’re promoted and continue that momentum.  

Developing Leaders Is An Investment In Your Company’s Growth 

Mentoring those around you who show leadership potential promotes everyone’s growth, including your own. High-quality training programs can complement the mentoring you do with guidance on specific skills and expertise that new and aspiring leaders need.

Leadership development is an investment that’s just as important as a product’s marketing and sales strategy when setting up your company for long-term success. 

Ensure your future leaders are trained well, widen the bottleneck, and watch your business grow.

Grow Personally and Professionally

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