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9 Steps to Unleash Greatness in Others

As a leader, is there anything better than watching someone achieve more than they ever thought possible?  I love creating environments where people can unlock and then unleash the potential inside of them.  What a privilege it is watch dreams come true.  But exactly how do you do that as a leader?

The subject of greatness is very mystical.  It cannot be measured but you know it when you see it.  However, I think there are nine steps that leaders can take with those on their teams that have the potential of bringing out greatness and peak performance.

This list flows from an investment strategy that someone made in my life over 20 years ago.  I think it serves as a quality template leaders can use today.

1. Believe Greatness Exists In Everyone

No leader alive can bring out greatness in others unless they fundamentally believe the capacity for something great resides in all of us.

2. Invest In Books, Tools, And Resources

The only difference between people is the books they’ve read and the people they’ve met.  Great leaders give their teams books, podcasts, cds, etc. to help their personal growth.

3. Offer Experiences 

Whether it’s sending their team to conferences, introducing them to successful people, or another memorable experience, great leaders expand the leadership worldview of others.

4. Assign Incremental Measures Of Responsibility

Great leaders understand the need to help people get wins under their belt.  Initially, give people leadership responsibilities where “they won’t hurt themselves or others.”  As they demonstrate skill and have success, you begin to offer escalating levels of responsibility.  

5. Provide Support 

Great leaders set others up for success.  Whether it is financial resources, people, or intellectual capital, make available to those you serve whatever is needed for success.

6. Give Permission To Fail 

Fear of failure constricts creativity and opportunity.  If someone is afraid to fail, they are more focused on managing personal survival rather than achieving greatness. 

7. Offering Constructive Feedback 

While great leaders give people freedom to fail, they also bring accountability.  Constructive feedback is coming alongside someone, putting their hand on their shoulder when they’ve failed, and saying, “Let’s talk about what happened and figure out a way to do this better.”

8. Provide Exposure 

As young leaders become more proficient in their skills, great leaders ”share the stage”.  When I look at Oprah, John Maxwell, Bill Belichick, Bill Clinton, Jack Welch, or Donald Trump, what I notice is these leaders are not only stars themselves, they have a passion for making other people stars as well.  They are very comfortable pointing to others and saying, “Look at them!”  This type of leadership demonstrates personal security and generosity.  

9. Partnering Together 

Mother Teresa said, “I can do some good things.  You can do some good things.  Together, we can do great things.”  Great leaders understand the multiplicative value of team leadership.  

This is the pattern that someone utilized in my life and we did accomplish some great things together.  If you see greatness in someone, begin taking these nine steps and watch what can be unleashed in their life.

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Brian Dodd is a church stewardship & leadership consultant. See www.briandoddonleadership.com for additional insights.