“If you want to lead don’t speed” was the pearl I heard from one of the members of my inner circle. This from a man who 2 years ago was impatient to get the results he envisioned for his team. When you begin teaching what you are learning, it is amazing how it comes full circle and you begin not only learning what you teach on a deeper level, but become aware of the lessons that are there from those you are coaching!
Leadership is a process. It’s like building a high-rise. When you see a new building being built, it seems like forever that they have the area surrounded with chain link fence, and it appears nothing is happening in there. Then suddenly after many weeks, or even months, the structure begins to rise, quickly now in comparison to the past. When developing leaders you have to take the time to lay the foundation. Everyone is at a different place in their journey. Some are hungry, some are curious, some are asleep and unaware. There is no right or wrong, just different. When your thoughts and energy are focused on adding value to others and developing leaders, you will begin attracting people who resonate with you and want to hear your message.
The foundation you lay in creating the relationship with your future leaders is sacred. The single most important thing to remember is to build trust. This means to do what you say always and live your talk. It means to take time to talk to them about them. It means to find out what is going on for them not only at work, but as a whole person. Invest your time and energy in creating the trust that is needed to help them along on their journey to becoming aware of their potential and ability to influence those around them.
There is always a gap between your vision and your reality. Understand that leadership is a process, one that progresses through the habits, decisions, and building blocks that you do every day. Practice patience.