Is there time to develop people?

Let’s face it. Developing people takes time.

If only we have the right people, with the right skills and attitudes in our team…

If only we can hire right…

If only the right people stay…

If only we have more time…

We are living in a rush(ed) hour. Even the time taken to read this post matters.

You and I know that developing people is the key to hiring the right talents and keeping them. Yet, the time expense is a costly investment, the risks are also just as much.

We all have experience pouring ourselves into potential leaders, only to see them walk out of the door, and left us wondering if anyone will ever be worth that kind of sacrifice ever again.

Relationship building takes time. Mentoring takes time. Patience and endurance through the “fumbling” phase takes time.

When we reflect on ourselves, we know that someone did invest time and effort on us to make us who we are today. Yet looking forward, we know that the time pressure is upon us.

Is there still time to develop people?

Or rather, how can we develop people in time pressure?

Often, we perceive investment and results in a linear fashion.

This mentality affects how we see people development too.

If we see more investment that is required, then we are inclined to hold back.

However, as fellow people leaders, I would like to encourage you to breakthrough this mentality.

There can be a different equation. One that I learnt from one of the top 25 US CEOs for small and medium sized companies, Craig Groeschel, which he called Bend the Curve.

Bending the curve refers to getting exponentially more returns from decreasing investments.

How can that be possible?

Firstly, it takes a mindset shift. If we are stuck with traditional ways of trying to hire right, train right, manage right, we end up having to invest more resources. Think of the day you started out as a leader, there were things you did either in your business or career that gave you more than you put in. Those actions were the ones that bent the curve. Now, imagine if you focused on that more, would that have made you more successful today?

Secondly, leaders need to learn to leverage. Leverage on technology, leverage on strategic alliances, leverage on experts in the field. BUT, do not leverage blindly. Know your purpose and make sure there is alignment. Technology introduced without purpose frustrates your team. Strategic alliances can break apart at a moment’s notice if it is purely a transactional relationship. Experts can be misguided if they do not know what you really want.

Thirdly, know your people. Yes, there are people leaders who do not know their people in a rational, holistic and insightful manner. There is just too much second-guessing happening in the workplace that hampers decision making and productivity. Some leaders think that is a skill acquired over time, if that is the case, then you are not bending the curve for your personal leadership development.

Above all. Spend time on yourself.

Spend and enjoy, not just invest for returns.

If you are under immense pressure, all the more you need to squeeze time out here and there for yourself.

You can make a difference wherever you are.