In my career, one of my proudest moments has always been when someone from my team is tapped for a bigger role, often outside of my sphere. I’ve heard people say, “How can you stand to lose her?” or “Wow, what a loss?” And truthfully, it does “hurt” the team for a bit but in the big picture it blesses the team and is a validation that my leadership is actually healthy and life-giving.

For those on the team who witness the promotion, transfer, or even new career of the colleague you’ve developed, there is a very strong message that says, “He’ll do that with me. I have a future here. Just keep learning and growing.” What a wonderful and healthy culture this kind of thinking creates! Engagement thrives in an atmosphere of growth and hope and an expected future.

For the colleague who moved upward and onward, life is better. Their horizons, earning potential, impact, continued learning, and just plain sense of adventure have all been expanded because you and I took the time to build into them. They gained confidence from our confidence in them. They gained a sense of worth because of the value we placed upon them. There is not much better to give a person then a sense of “I am somebody.” 

There is another reward in all of this—the joy and satisfaction of quietly and in humility realizing that, as this person moves on, they are evidence that you have done your job and done it well. True leaders develop leaders.

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