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Two Questions that Lead to Growth – for Everyone

Are you creating the opportunities you’ll need for a highly successful career? In Insights for the Journey, John Lucht suggests asking yourself two questions in order to stay on a growth path:

  • “How can I re-distribute my work in order to provide a more richly developmental experience for each subordinate?”
  • “What can I offer to take over from my boss that will give him or her helpful support and, at the same time, give me needed stimulation and growth?”

Why are these two questions critical?

First, you need capacity to take on the kind of projects that will stretch you. Most managers I have worked with settle into the comfort zone of their current job, where demands are continuously doable but engulfing. Almost all of my clients have the same  complaint: “I don’t have time to take on anything new!” Yet when we discuss what they could download to subordinates, they invariably resist: “I can do it better and faster myself.”

Sure you can. That’s why you have the job you have. But unless you develop subordinates by delegating some of your juicy projects, how will they ever be able to grow enough to replace you, so that they stay engaged and so that you can move to bigger and better opportunities? And how will you ever be ready for bigger and better if you don’t create capacity to stretch yourself now?

That’s why Mr Lucht’s questions are so powerful. By re-distributing your work, you simultaneously give your subordinates a chance to grow and create capacity for yourself to stretch. By offering support to your boss, you are starting to work today at the next level of your career. To say nothing of building a better relationship with your boss by giving him or her the capacity to stretch and grow.

Building your tomorrow starts now. Help your subordinates replace you, and start developing so you can replace your boss.

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2 Responses to “Two Questions that Lead to Growth – for Everyone”

  1. Bing Chou says:

    Succinct and right on Mark. I’ve had experience with superiors who have been both types of leaders. Working for the type who cultivates me and therefore makes time to cultivate themselves is definitely the more fulfilling experience.

  2. mpfriedman says:

    Thanks, Bing. The great thing about having bad bosses – the kind that don’t cultivate you – is the opportunity to learn what you don’t want to do with our own subordinates!

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