No I haven’t fallen asleep on the keyboard and neither am I making up words again! These letters each stand for a word that has come up in some other training I’m doing. The theme of the training was ‘Launching Leaders’ and it fits wonderfully with my task to uncover the next generation of leaders and community engagers right here in Camelon and Tamfourhill. It gave so much insight especially in respect of working with groups of people and how you help individuals grow. It also involves looking at leadership differently. It is thought that leadership is not a gift for an individual, but a gift for the community/organisation through the individual. This then becomes about identifying leaders within a community, for a community.
So, to this IRTDMN thing. There’s a lot to unpack in these 6 letters/words so I’ll take 2 weeks to cover this to save having a really lengthy blog post.
First up, the I is for Identify.
This is the point where we start to build relationships by getting to know people. That is the best way to start because only with a working relationship with them can you start to identify what they can have the potential to get involved in. Crucially, as the inner potential becomes clear, it is not my role to tell people what to do, but to help them discover it for themselves and walk alongside them as they make that journey.
It is said that a true leader is not one who passes decrees, but who lives and walks with others. This makes so much sense but involves dropping the idea of a true leader as being like the traditional view of a Chief Exec of a big corporate business (no offence to any corporate CEO’s!). Leadership is about naturally influencing others so that they can become the person they are meant to be. Identifying the potential within only comes with that process and by walking alongside them for as long as needed.
Next, the R is for Recruit
Once the specific needs are known and the potential within individuals is identified, we move to the recruiting stage. This is not recruitment in the usual sense of putting an advert out for a role, receiving applications, interviewing and appointing someone. This is not even about recruiting to fill a gap. Following on from the Identifying stage, this is about bringing people into a role that they have been made to do, through a gentle nurturing/coaching process, so what actually happens is that the potential within them does the recruiting!
People will move at different speeds through this process and that is okay. Some will need more time with someone walking alongside them as they build their own self belief. Others will be able to be released quicker. It’s important to get this speed right and that is only known by properly setting the foundations through the Identify stage and building a good understanding relationship. Moving someone into a role too soon – even if it is what they were designed to do – could cause more harm than good. The last thing I want to do is set someone up to fail.
Finally for this week, the T is for Train
This is a very key stage as, in the same way that putting someone into a role too soon can do untold harm, not training people properly for the role can do equal damage. There’s a process to follow here:
- Do it yourself – this is the stage many projects will be in because it seems easier that way.
- Invite others to watch – this links to the Identify and Recruit stages and is where you allow yourself to be as open as possible with those who are looking in.
- Do it together – this is where you really allow others to walk alongside you so you can encourage and teach them. This can take time and it may be tempting to move back to point 1 and just get on with it. However, it is said that if you can find someone who can do things 70% as well as you, then step back and let them get on with it. You will not find a clone of you!
- Be intentionally absent. Give the other person the chance to get on and do things because an appointment has ‘just come up’ or you’re not feeling 100%. But make sure you check in with them afterwards. This is a step that needs to be managed very carefully otherwise you could damage the whole process of bringing the other person into their fullest potential and giving yourself some breathing space.
- Release them into the role. Give them the permission to do the role in the way they have been designed to do. But be prepared for them to maybe do things differently and, as long as it works and brings the desired results in the community, that is okay.
- Allow them to train others. You’ve made them a leader so allow them now to fulfil that role to the full by training others. They’ve been through this process so are well equipped to do it with someone else now.
This is such a rewarding process. Yes, it takes time. How long? Well, as long as needed for each individual. But it is worth every moment in order to widen the spread of people achieving their own goals and becoming the people they were designed to be. How amazing would that community look? I don’t know about you, but I love it!
So there we have it. The first three letters explained of this IRTDMN thing. Come back next week to find out what the D, M, and N relate to.
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions or just want a chat, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07444 873151. Whether you’re the person wanting to find out what you’re meant to be doing, or the person who could do with having someone to share the load with, I’d love to hear from you.
Credit to Michael Gatlin, Launching Leaders, Vineyard Training for the basis of this training.