Guidelines for Leader Development

leader development

Leaders develop other leaders. In John C. Maxwell’s book, “The Five Levels of Leadership,” that idea is the main focus of Chapter 4: People Development.

Maxwell explains it takes a leader to know, show and grow other leaders. They have to put in the time and effort to take their team from just a bunch of people to a bunch of leaders. It’s a process, but one that is well worth it in the end.

Throughout the chapter, Maxwell offers pointers for developing leaders. One of his pieces of advice deals with seven guidelines a leader can follow when it comes to developing people into leaders themselves. Below are the guidelines:

  1. Recruiting: Finding the best possible people to join your team does matter. It is your people who you will develop into leaders. Maxwell explains when he is looking for potential leaders, he analyzes capacity, character, chemistry (in the areas of stress management, skill, thinking, leadership and attitude) and contribution.
  2. Positioning: Not only is having the right people on your team essential, but what role those people are in on the team is what matters. As Maxwell said, “A leader must understand how those players best fit on the team and put them there. To do that, he must have a clear picture of each person’s strengths and weakness and understand how they fit the needs of the team.”
  3. Modeling: Show others how to lead by how you lead. Maxwell focuses on modeling the areas of authenticity, excellence, growth, passion, servant hood and success.
  4. Equipping: As a leader, you cannot simply tell someone what needs to be done. Rather, it’s a process of developing their potentially through helping them by demonstrating and coaching them.
  5. Developing: Leaders also need to help people learn how to do life well. Maxwell writes, “If the only thing you’re helping a new leader learn is how to get ahead in the workplace, you’re not truly developing that person to succeed, because there’s a lot more to life than work and career.” He shares that through assessment, challenging people and supporting them in their life endeavors.
  6. Empowering: It’s essential to enable people to succeed through your belief in them. Maxwell writes, “As you release task to the leaders you’re developing, you need to trust them, believe in them, and hold them accountable. Trust creates a bond between you and them.”
  7. Measuring: The way to measure your leadership development is by how independently your team is able to function. “Obviously, your goal is to help them
    become leaders who can take action without needing your input,” said Maxwell.

Maybe you excel at some of Maxwell’s guidelines. Maybe others are ones that you struggle fulfilling. However, realize developing leaders in your Box begins with one person: you, Affiliate.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at