Leadership and the Art of Leader-making

Someone recently asked me for my biggest successes as a leader. I’ll tell you up front, it’s a tougher question than it seems. Give it a shot–it’ll make you scratch your head a bit.
Here’s where I arrived:
My biggest success(es) as a leader have been in hiring and developing a handful of people who have become
wildly successful leaders in their own right
For example, in 1996, I moved a minimum-wage receptionist
into an active supporting role as my assistant. Fast-forward, she followed me to three subsequent
companies, and today is the Director of HRIS for a publicly-traded industrial
services company. I like to think I had a hand in that, even if just recognizing the innate ability.
Another hire, as an individual contributor in 2002, shortly before I started my consulting firm, is now a functional Vice President for a northeast-based publicly traded company. Along the way, he taught me patience when I didn’t know I had any, and to remember that no matter how hectic and crazy our worlds become, we simply must–as leaders–make the time to develop and care for our folks, particularly those with ambition and the skills to carry it out.
I believe creating leadership is one of the higher-order
skills of leadership, and essential for an organization’s future/continued
I feel like I learned to hire the best people possible, remove as many
obstacles as you can, act as a distant safety-net, and give them the opportunity
to fail without failure. Surprisingly (to no one), this stuff works.
But that’s just me…


Kevin Berchelmann

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