roadtosuccessEver experience such remarkably terrible leadership that you decided, “When I get the opportunity to lead, I will do things differently. I’ll never treat my team that way.” Feeling suffocated and unsupported, you begin looking for your chance to show them how it’s done.

Then you get your opportunity, interview carefully for your open position, select the best candidate, and take your time getting to know their career ambitions. With a clear understanding of their goals, you arrange for training and foster key opportunities.

“Yes! This is how it’s supposed to be done,” you think to yourself, as your new employees get the opportunities they’ve always wanted. In the process, they also have a chance to build relationships with leaders two or three levels above you and begin going directly to them with questions.

Meanwhile, you’re thinking to yourself, “I’m the one who got you those opportunities. You need to come to me with your questions. It’s the respectful thing to do!”

Maybe this whole leadership thing isn’t quite what you thought it would be. “They’re advancing, and I’m stuck in this position as support staff to them now,” you say to yourself, irritated with their clear lack of respect and appreciation for all you’ve done to help.

This is exactly where Robin found herself after more than a decade of dealing with bad managers. As she reflected on the process she went through to help her first employee thrive, she was both proud and irritated.

More irritated than proud when she first started sharing about the experience, but by the end of our conversation she realized she was simply missing an important component of long-term success in leadership—keep advancing your skills, relationships and knowledge.

Rather than continuing to waste her time and energy keeping her new employee tethered to her, Robin refocused her energy and time on stepping up to new challenges, advancing her own skills and building relationships. Meanwhile, she continued in her support role.

The ideas of leadership regained the excitement and allure it once held in her mind, and the results were worth every bit of effort.

By refocusing on her own growth, Robin wound up inspiring her employee and colleagues to step up and make a bit of progress for themselves. Rather than pushing for an increase in control and management of others, she became a go-to resource for support and advancement of others.

By allowing yourself to be inspired by the success of others, advancement becomes a fun game for everyone. As you think about the next three-six months, ask yourself, “What skills, experiences, and relationships do I want to nurture?” Then, begin immediately researching, signing up for, and/or scheduling time for your growth.

In the process, helping others along the way becomes a joyful and uplifting experience—both for you and them.

Here’s to your greatness,

Misti Burmeister