Leaders Activate Value

Creating teams that achieve the remarkable takes a special leader. These leaders look for qualities in people that others overlook.

Developing people

The leader responsibility doesn’t stop with selecting new team members. Instead, selection is where our commitment begins.

Activating the full value of team members requires discovery of their latent abilities. It becomes our job to enable our people to thrive. We do this through varying assignments, exploration of strengths, focused learning. All in a safe environment, where they can experience failure without career damage.

“Activating the full value of team members requires discovery of their latent abilities.”

The cost of leadership

Make no mistake, developing people and teams doesn’t come for free. This is one of the costs of being a leader others want to follow.

I won’t lie to you.

Leading well requires sacrifice. If you are not ready to do that, best to let others lead until you are ready to pay that price. We have too many self-seeking leaders already.

Are you leader?

Leaders have followers regardless of title.

People have asked me, “if the title doesn’t make me a leader how will I know I am leader?”

I tell them it is not complicated. We know we are leading when we have others following. Simple as that.

By the way, if you didn’t know this already, you can be a people leader without having direct reports. Most are.

“You can be a people leader without having direct reports. “

The environment where work happens matters

Many companies profess, “people are our greatest asset“.

When I read that phrase, lots of questions pop into my mind. How about you?

Making it personal I ask these question of what I do with my own assets. Let’s see if any of these resonate with you.

What could I do with them?

    • I can sell them
    • I control them
    • I save them
    • I sometimes spend them
    • Sadly, I waste some of the them
    • I feel good when I give them away

I find this interesting language to use; describing people as assets. I wouldn’t tell my wife that she is my greatest asset even though she is precious and dear to me.

Shouldn’t the way we describe assets be different than with people?

I think so.  How do you talk about others?

What can we do for people we care about?

    • We can serve them
    • We love them
    • We can feel empathy towards them
    • We respect them
    • We could sacrifice and even die for them

Times have changed. Professionals I know don’t want to be controlled, they desire to be led. Next time you read, “our people are our greatest asset”, my hope is that you might ask questions too.  


There is a cost to leading.   It is not for everyone, but it is open to all if we are willing to pay the price.    People bring value because they are valuable. The value they choose to bring the organization resides in them already and it is theirs.   The organization never own it to begin with.  The organization simply invites them to use it.  The best managers cultivate it.   


    • Make a list of what you can do this year that will help you discover latent abilities your people possess 
    • Invite your people to try something new to help your organization and see what happens

Shepherding: The art of becoming the leader others want to follow

From the Shepherd’s Library

Every team needs trust to thrive.  The Trust Edge helped me begin applying principles to increase trust with those I lead.  I highly recommend it for your library.

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  1. Definition of asset
  2. Stop Telling Me People Are Your Greatest Asset
    By Ron Thomas | October 31, 2017
  3. People Are Not Your Greatest Asset
    By Anthony J. Bradley and Mark P. McDonald | December 06, 2011