Sustaining Success: Eight Ways to Foster the Development of High-Capacity Leaders on Your Team

Most teams are a mix of people with varying amounts of experience, backgrounds, talents, and abilities. While some team members may just be beginning their careers or journey, others may be further along in their development. On my team, we have everything from a teenager working his first part-time job to my pastor and boss with over 50 years of experience in ministry and dozens of people in between. 

Those further along in their leadership journey likely need to be guided differently than those just starting. Team members further along in their development are more likely to be high-capacity leaders. High-capacity leaders can be challenging to manage. They have high expectations for themselves and others, a constant drive for growth, and are impatient with mediocrity. Many times, it is hard to keep them satisfied or even to hold on to them at all. So, what can a leader do to manage a high-capacity leader?

  1. Grow Yourself –You are the pacemaker for your team. You set the example. If you set a culture of personal growth, you will inspire many of your team members to grow themselves. You will also make the high-capacity leaders on your team feel as though they are in a growth environment. 
  2. Give Them What They Need to Succeed – Don’t hold your high-capacity leaders back. Give them the tools that they need to succeed. Give them the freedom to do their work without being micromanaged. Give them the ability to try new things. Don’t tie them down to doing the same things all the time. Give them room to work and let them take your organization to the next level.
  3. Give Them Good Work – High-capacity leaders get things done, but that doesn’t mean you should give them the worst jobs because you know they will do it. Give them the best projects to benefit the organization while at the same time stretching their leadership abilities. 
  4. Share How They Are Making a Positive Impact – High-capacity leaders typically like to know that they are being productive and making a difference. Share with them and others how they are making a difference. This could be as simple as commenting to them in the hall about something you noticed they did well or sharing their success with the whole team. The occasional card – or even gift card – also goes a long way.
  5. Encourage and Pay for Personal & Professional Development – Continue to invest in their growth. Buy them books. Send them to the conference. Hire them a coach. Bring in a consultant. Give them some money to take another leader to lunch. Help them grow their network which will broaden their horizons, provide new insights, and help them develop valuable connections outside the organization.
  6. Challenge Them to Think Bigger and Risk More – High-capacity leaders often already think big but challenge them to think even bigger. This excites the individual and lets them know they are in an environment where they will grow more.   Often, they will rise to the challenge, bringing even bigger results than what they were already achieving. 
  7. Support Work-life Balance: High-capacity leaders can sometimes be prone to burnout. Encourage your team members to maintain a healthy work-life balance and model it yourself. Encourage them to take time off when needed, promote flexible working arrangements, and create an environment where self-care is prioritized.
  8. Pray for Them – As a pastor, I believe the most important thing you can do for your team is pray for them. Check-in with them regularly to know what is happening in their life. Pray for them, their family if they have one, and their job/ministry. 

High-capacity leaders can be hard to manage. Left unsupported, they can become discouraged or even leave the organization. But doing a few simple things can go a long way to seeing them grow and achieve even more than ever before.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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