How great CEs develop more leaders



THE notion of developing other leaders might seem to be dangerous to the chief executive (CE) who is in the driving seat, yet in reality, it is a way of strengthening their leadership.
Most CEs are afraid that when they develop others their power will be hauled away from them. You become more valuable, the moment you add value to others.

The late renowned Bahamian evangelist Myles Munroe once said: “Greatness is in everybody. A good supervisor brings out the greatness in each employee. Leadership is creating an environment that allows people to manifest their gifts for the corporate good. That is good business, and that is great leadership.”

The greatest level of leadership is not attaining the post or position. It’s not about personal achievements. It’s not about being famous. All those things are good, but they are not the greatest. The greatest attainment in leadership is the ability to develop followers into leaders and develop ordinary leaders into greater leaders.

Coaching is one of those creative processes that the leader could use in helping other leaders or helping followers in becoming leaders. Coaching is a creative process that uses tools and techniques to help people unleash their potential. This is one great facet that a leader must use. In the book, The Complete Handbook of Coaching, it is said coaching is “a human development process that involves structured, focused interaction and use of appropriate strategies, tools, and techniques to promote desirable and sustainable change for the benefit of the coachee and potentially for other stakeholders.”

UK-based researcher Christian van Nieuwerburgh (2017: 5) says coaching is a:

“(a) is a managed conversation that takes place between two people;

(b) aims to support sustainable change to behaviours or ways of thinking;

(c) focuses on learning and development.”


There is a thin line separating coaching and mentoring. Coaching is more professional and formal, whereas mentoring tends to be informal. Coaching is mainly for improved performance and you don’t necessarily give answers to the coachee. The mentor takes the mentee by hand since they have past experiential wisdom on what the mentee wants to develop in.


Most leaders fail to lead by example. Instead, they command without an example. John C Maxwell once said: “Some leaders are like travel agents, they send people where they have never been.” A leader has to show true leadership for others to emulate.

Leading from the heart

People are yearning for love and care. This old adage says “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. The moment you learn to love other people, the easier it becomes to help them improve their leadership skills. It becomes easy to motivate and inspire when you love people. People that have the greatest influence and impact in our lives are those that love us. Throughout my primary and secondary life, my teachers I cherish the most are those that loved me and inspired me to stretch higher.

Expose them

People need to be exposed to improve and develop. Some leaders lack access. As a young person, I had a dream and one thing I wanted was to enter some doors; I needed access. I approached some leaders in different industries, but they could not give me access.

I learnt it the hard way even though some people would have opened those doors for me. In that process of knocking on doors, I saw that some people become successful only by helping them access some networks. And my pledge has been, I will help young people have access to special doors that they might need.

Value people

The authentic leader has to learn to see value in other people. This other day I was talking to the manager of an organisation and to my surprise he had the audacity to say if he is not present, there are things that should not be done. In fact, he has the final word in almost all things. This leader didn’t value the input of others. The leader has to appreciate and acknowledge that some could be equally or more talented than them. At times the leaders might be less talented, but he puts that talent to good use without feeling threatened or offended.


When you see value in others, it becomes easy to delegate. Delegation shows that you trust people. You trust their capabilities, talents, abilities, skills, endowments, and expertise. A poor leader is the one that does not delegate. Businesswoman, Jessica Jackley, once said: “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.”

Parting Point: Great CEs make a conscious effort to help other leaders grow. They help followers become leaders. How do they do that? They provide a safe space or environment for growth. This safe space makes followers experiment without being afraid of making mistakes.

When others make mistakes they are quick to forgive and are always willing to defend those they lead. Great leaders are not afraid to open doors for others. They appreciate, recognise, and reward those they lead. They work towards helping others develop. They motivate and inspire others to dream bigger and finally, they lead by example.