Three Calls You Must Make to Develop Those You Lead

Three Calls You Must Make to Develop Those You Lead
Thomas Thompson
April 12, 2022
min read

Leaders don’t just stumble upwards; they require intentional focus and time to develop and level up.


How are you developing the leaders on your team?  


I use three "calls" to keep me focused on calling the leaders on my teams to what's next for their leadership:



Think of a minor leaguer getting the call up to the majors.  You make that call when you clearly invite them to lead where you see them going.


Where do you see them going in the next year?  What would it take for them to get there?  Have you clearly communicated this call up to them?


Every organization has their “leadership table.”  The table where the important decisions are made, and the weight of the org is shared.  Not everyone gets to sit at this table, and not everyone wants to.  But you see in them the potential to sit at this table and maximize their impact.  Do they want that?  Help them identify what leading at the next level looks like and what they would need to do to get there.  


The Call:  “We need you leading at the next level.  This is what it will take.  Let’s create a plan to get you there.”



Until you sit in the chair of command yourself, it is difficult to feel the weight of leadership.  It is easy to “Monday Morning Quarterback” your boss when you don’t carry what they carry, or see what they see.  


So invite them to the opportunity to think at a higher level, without having to shoulder the full weight.  Share with them a struggle you're facing.  Ask them how they would handle a decision before you.  Take them along for an important call or meeting and afterwards ask them what they observed.  


Get them thinking about what leadership looks like on the inside, at the table. 


The Call:  “I have an important decision/conversation ahead of me.  I’d like you to sit with me in that and help me lead it well.”



Most organizations don’t do effective evaluation and feedback.  There are many reasons for that, but the biggest culprit is lack of clarity.  We have not been clear about where they are falling short and what we need them to do to get back on track.


This failure to call them out shows up most when someone has to be fired or demoted, and they are surprised or caught off guard.  When a firing comes as a surprise, that is 100% on the supervisor’s plate.  


Here is the deal:  We think people hate to be corrected.  The reality is that the most loving and leading thing you can do is help someone see where they are not doing their best work.  Regular reviews and course corrections empower employees to know they are “getting the A” in their jobs.


The Call:  “You are key to this team.  But your work in this area is not good enough.  Here is what we need from you.”


Bonus Tip:   What if YOU are the leader wanting to get called to a higher level of leading in the organization? Flip this script and ask your supervisor to make these calls in your life:


CALL ME UP:  “I want to lead at the next level.  What do you think that looks like for me?”

CALL ME IN:   “How can I come alongside you and your leadership in this season?”

CALL ME OUT:  “I want to serve this team well.  Would you point out where I can get better?”


Leader, make these calls to your team and welcome them to the majors. I'd love to talk with you more about this. Shoot me an email and let's start calling your team up today.

Photo by Pavan Trikutam on Unsplash

I founded Thompson Leadership to come alongside leaders like you. Together, we will unpack your unique leadership, unearth your biggest challenge, and create an action plan to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
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