This week’s issue of Becoming a Strategic Partner features an essay by Dr. John C. Maxwell on leadership. He compares the role of corporate leader to that of a parent of school-aged children: Employees, like student’s, will develop faster and further if they are in an environment that encourages growth at all times.

Access to the right relationships, resources and opportunities can make a world of difference in their development. As a leader, it’s your duty to enrich and empower your people by fully equipping them to excel on the job.

Certainly, we’d send our people to the industry’s leading conferences and furnish them with the finest technologies if we had the budget to do so. However, in these challenging economic times, equipping our people isn’t a responsibility at which we can simply throw money. We have to find more creative ways to equip them as leaders.

Dr. Maxwell offers five ways to do so:

  1. Turn the tables: Serve them before they serve you.
  2. Teach by listening, not by telling.
  3. Empower decision-makers.
  4. Adjust your pace: Slow down and make time for training.
  5. Widen the circle: When someone on your team has passed you by, search for outside help to mentor him or her.