7 Miracle Grow Principles for Your Team

My wife and I were recently doing some yard work, and a friend of mine tossed a handful of fertilizer on a group of flowers that I had just planted.  She proclaimed, “This stuff is like crack for plants!”  Either we had just put some really serious fertilizer on my plants, or I’m the reason my Lantana is now addicted to drugs!

I often wish there was some sort of miracle grow that I could give my leaders to speed up the development process.  While I’m pretty sure there’s not a current market for “leadership crack,” here are seven “miracle grow” principles to share with your team in the meantime:

To lead, one must first follow.  Regardless of your job, the most important task you have is to see the vision of your senior leader fulfilled in the lives of the people you lead. The great thing is, when you help someone else see their vision fulfilled, you will in turn be surrounded with people to help see your vision fulfilled!
Distinguish yourself with excellence. There is a small difference between ordinary and extraordinary.  That difference is the “extra”.  Extra sweat, extra time, extra energy and extra preparation.  Don’t be afraid to put in the little extra.  It makes a huge difference!
To be promoted, prepare your replacements. Take time to invest in your team and those around you.  It’s a great way to demonstrate your ability to lead and handle greater responsibility.
Establish the reputation of a problem solver.  Resist the urge to be a crisis person! Plan ahead, respond rather than react, and do so in the right spirit.
Fine-tune your people skills.  A lot of weaknesses can be turned into strengths when you develop relationships.  I asked a mentor that I admire and trust how he was able to successfully develop so many life-changing relationships.  He simply said, “Never burn bridges, always build them!”
Let faithfulness be your calling card.  Establish yourself as a person that can be trusted with the details.  From returning phone calls to showing up early for every meeting, be faithful.  As a friend of mine says, “When the light illuminates the sky, Batman can be trusted to show up!”
Leave lasting impressions by giving more than you take.  When you consistently make withdrawals, you will eventually bleed the account dry.  Many leaders do this to relationships – they are constantly on the take without making the necessary investments in return. 

Now, these key elements will take a little more time and effort than miracle grow (or the illustrious “leadership crack”), but the result is well worth the investment.  Begin to apply these things today and watch your leaders bloom where they’re planted!

Which of these principles do you feel are MOST important?

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