Harvey S. Firestone once said “It is only as we develop others that we permanently succeed,” and boy, do I agree.
By most measures, Harvey Firestone succeeded. He helped create an industry, employed thousands, and his enterprises continue to do so. Harvey Firestone clearly mastered strategic leadership. It seems that in this short quotation he gave us one secret to his success.
I haven’t explored the corporate history or philosophy of Firestone, but this statement alone tells me a lot. It tells me that Harvey Firestone believed in leadership coaching before it was “in vogue” or “cool.” It tells me that he believed in developing others for the right reasons, that is, to make a difference in the world.
Mr. Firestone certainly led at a different time, before this thing called “the Internet” and smart phones and virtual work. He never had to try to communicate via email. Still, his words ring true to this day, for all leaders, even those of virtual, remote and hybrid teams, Yet not enough leaders are committed to developing staff.
According to a recent study, 68% of respondents said their managers weren’t actively engaged in their career development. While it may be a little harder to coach, train and develop your employees from afar, it’s critical that you take the time to do so. As you develop others, you aren’t just doing it “for the business.” As you support, encourage, lift up and coach those around you, you’re making a real difference in their lives and therefore in the world at large. So right now, ask yourself:
- Who can I help develop today?
- What can I do specifically?
- When will I get started?
Then do it. You’ll create a team of more capable, loyal employees, and that’s just good for everyone!