True leadership is about developing the people on your team. What is the best way to develop the people you really want to have?  Here is Dan Rockwell with some wonderful insight on how exactly to do that.

Originally posted on October 27, 3014 by Dan Rockwell

Leaders who neglect people seldom get what they really want.

Three essentials for skillful leaders:

  1. Produce useful results.
  2. Build relationships.
  3. Strengthen culture.

Successful leaders do all three at the same time – all the time.

The goal of leadership development is producing servants.

The real product of leadership is people. How much time are you spending with people?

Purpose and goals:

Before spending time with people, identify purpose and goals.

The purpose of leading is serving. The goal of leadership development is producing servants. Servant leadership is first about character, second about skill.

Spend more time on character, less on skill.

Five essential character qualities to develop in servant leaders:

  1. Persistence: Responding to difficulty with optimism.
  2. Boldness: Confidence to step forward when failure matters.
  3. Curiosity: Willingness to not know, but find out.
  4. Connectedness: Building relationships that energize and sustain.
  5. Humility: Eagerness to let the strengths of others shine.

Sample questions that work toward character development:

The first question is who are you now, the second is who do you want to be, the third is what do you want to do.


  1. What does persistence look like in this situation?
  2. What quality do you currently possess that can fuel persistence? How?
  3. How can you seek opportunity in this difficulty?


  1. What does your desire for praise, recognition, and acknowledgement feel like?
  2. When do you feel most recognized?
  3. How can you give to others what you desire for yourself?

Time for people:

Leaders who build relationships and strengthen culture make time for people.

  1. Build systems that produce freedom. A system with you at the center prevents you from producing people-results. The more stuff you sign, the less real work you do. The more permissions you have to give, the more useless you become.
  2. Schedule people into your calendar every day. Make phone calls to touch base from 11:00 a.m. to 11:15, for example.
  3. Walkabout the office.

What essential qualities would you add to the list?

What questions work toward character development?