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  • Writer's pictureVicki Ryan

Part 2: Developing Others

This is part 2 of a 4-part blog series featuring insights from leaders on leadership. Each leader was asked questions designed to learn about their ways of working, ways of being and ways they lead others.

Below you will see the candid, poignant, funny and verbatim responses that are powerful in their simplicity and earnestness. You may choose to read them all 4 parts today or come back for moments of inspiration and encouragement. Before you dive in, have pen and paper handy. After reading the question that begins each blog, jot down your responses to the questions, then see what these leaders shared.


What motivates you to help others develop?


VR's two thoughts: One from my parents and one from Linda Z. circa 1986

1. As a kid, my parents were more coach-y than telling or directing. So, when I would ask, “How do I do XYZ…”, they would ask me, “what do you think?” When I asked, "Can you help me..." they asked, "What would you do if I wasn't here?" I was encouraged to think! What a gift, although sometimes, frankly, I just wanted an easy answer.

2. Early in my career I headed up a customer service organization when a peer named Linda Z. saw something in me that I sure didn't... becoming a facilitator of leadership sessions. Standing up in front of people including leaders with experience and degrees I didn't have? Was she nuts? But Linda Z. nagged me until I gave in and gave facilitation a try. Then she stuck by me with feedback, coaching and recognition as I gained experience and built the skills and confidence, launching that new career, 30+ years ago.


Here's what other leaders shared...

  • I am tired of seeing people promoted based only on skills when we should also promote people for developing others in a positive way. Work life is exponentially better when there is a positive employee-manager relationship. This is good for people, good for business and good for our world.

  • For me it’s about paying forward the opportunities that got me started on my path and honoring those leaders who opened doors for me and gave me a push through them.

  • I have always been drawn to do this work because it gives me joy. My career has been spent teaching, training, mentoring and coaching. It’s a gift to do work you love, and I cherish it as such.

  • Part of it is the incredible support and development I received from leaders over my career and part of it is having adult kids and grandkids in or entering the workforce. A little bit of attention goes a long way.

  • This is an important question. When development is done right, everyone wins. Doing it right doesn't mean dumping work or delegating to delegate. It means paying attention to those on your team, asking them what they want, and sometimes pushing them farther than they knew or believed they could go.

  • At the end of the day, I gain time; people gain skills and confidence. No brainer.

  • I love this question… the answer is simple. It is our job as leaders, formally and informally. Period.

Please comment and/or share your thoughts below. You never know who may benefit from your story the way these leaders have inspired so many, me included. Thank you for leading, growing and learning.


My most sincere gratitude to the leaders who have shared their insights, feedback, and coaching including Anne, Connie, Diane, Dick, Jack, Laura, Linda, Pam, Rob and Roy.

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