I have worked under good management and other not-so-good management. The not-so-good management was in companies that hired managers with no formal training. These organizations also gave professional development a low priority. They required their managers to implement directives from head office, and measured managerial performance on conformance with those directives. The managers were not encouraged, and sometimes not allowed, to consider individual needs of their employees, or particular needs and wants of their clientele that might differ from head office’s assessment.

For example, each retail outlet has a personality derived from the geography and demographics of its clientele. What works for a store in downtown Toronto may be ineffective in a store in London or Windsor. Even locations within the same city vary with the customers who frequent each store. To insist that the managers follow a one-retail-plan-fits-all-stores strategy, and then fault the managers when it doesn’t work, is not only unreasonable, it is bad business.  Those managers are denied the autonomy and personal growth that are at the basis of good leadership.

When you develop your leaders, you know they can be relied upon to take their team forward. Like the coach of a sports team, business leaders must know their team members’ strengths and how to orchestrate complementary abilities and skills into stellar performance. That is what propels the team to greatness. Business leaders empower their teams by bringing out the best in each member, and that kind of power drives success.