Effective Leadership #34 – Development is specific to tasks and not specific to person

Most of the leaders always fail to understand that the development of a person is specific to a task and not to the person itself. A person who is good in a particular task may not be very good on a different task. They might perform well when they are given a proper training. In order to identify the development level of a person, the leader should do an analysis. There are basically 4 types of development level. We will discuss all the 4 levels in detail in this article. I came to know about these development levels through an Effective Leadership training provided to me in my office. The concepts were brilliant and now I’m able to categorize someone easily on their specific development levels based on the tasks they do.

I used to evaluateĀ the development level of a person based on the person itself as a whole considering various situations and aspects. I understood it was wrong and I started taking approaches where I list out different tasks a person does and categorize their development level on that particular task. For example, John can be very good at singing but not very good at dancing. Considering these two skills, we will not be able to judge the person itself whether he is skilled or not. If someone is asking us if John is a skilled person or not, the next question that we have to ask them is “Please let me know the task so that I can provide you with an answer to the question.” Let’s continue to see some interesting information about various development levels that are available.

Development Level 1 – Beginner

Lets just start with this development level. For a particular task this is the first level. Usually freshers are an easy fit to this development level. When someone joins a company or joins a new role in a different department and if a task is assigned to them, they can be considered as a perfect beginner for that particular task. This category of people will have high commitment but low competency. The reason being, they will be highly enthusiastic to explore new things but they will not know their goals and milestones in that particular task. People in this stage will need lots of help from a leader.

The responsibility of a leader is to facilitate them in all means to make them feel comfortable about the task by providing all the resources they will need to complete the particular task. A leader will be able to get the desired output from the subordinate only if they know what to do. Some of the facilitation that a Beginner will need are as follows:

  • Training
  • Walkthrough of the entire process
  • Access to necessary tools and resources
  • Setting up goals
  • Setting up milestone

There are also other factors apart from the above that will help a beginner to kick startĀ on their new task or new role. If their efficiency is not used well, they will end up performing badly in that particular task.

Development Level 2 – Learning

Associates who are in the process of learning fall under this category. They are usually not full beginners but they are someone who has started to explore more details about that particular task or role. People in this category are usually with some to medium competency and with low commitment. During the learning stage, people will not be having a high commitment. Their focus will be to first understand more about the task before even they start working. Here again, the support can be channelled from the leader by providing the following as the support.

  • Training
  • Follow up meetings
  • Motivation
  • Aligning to the goals

In the process of learning an associate gains great experience with which they will be able to reach the next development level on that particular task. For learning, it need not be necessarily a leader’s task to go behind the staff member to make them learn. Learning is something that can happen as a self-learning instead of being dependable on others. Even if there comes a situation where they have to be dependent on the leaders to get some further knowledge on the task they have been doing, they can feel free to approach their leaders to get their time slot to get a knowledge transfer from them.

Development Level 3 – Intermediate

Intermediate people are someone who already knows what needs to be done. It is just that they have the variable commitment and moderate to high competency. People who fall into this category for a specific task are one step below experts. They will need an additional push to be the best contributor fo the team. There are some options available for the staff members in Intermediate level as well to enhance their skills. They are:

  • Coaching
  • Motivation
  • Removing blockers
  • Out of Box thinking to arrive at solutions

Staff members in this category are already well aware of the tasks. They are usually employees with good experience and knowledge but they are the ones who lack coaching. It usually becomes easier for a leader to handle such staff members. A small triggering with the help of coaching will make the staff members move to the next level.

Development Level 4 – Master

Master is someone who is an expert in doing a particular task. This development level is usually seen on a person with high commitment and high competency. They are someone capable of doing any task even if there are challenges in that task. The leaders will only have to get an update from them or they have to just hear what the employees say. Other than that there will not be any necessity to provide an improvement area for them. People who fall under this category will also have some tasks that they can perform. They are:

  • Look forward to their next challenging project.
  • Delegation
  • Start exploring their next development level task for which they are just a beginer
  • Mentoring

There will not be any negative feedbacks for this development level because people who are a master on something will always be an expert. They will just have to look forward to delegate the tasks to someone else so that they can make the other person transform from a beginner to an expert. This will also make the business run smooth. When one person is not available, the other person can take charge.

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Hope you had an interesting read. Share your views on this topic in the comments section.


My previous articles in this series:

Effective Leadership #1 – An Introduction

Effective Leadership #2 – Focusing on Quality

Effective Leadership #3 – Learning From Others

Effective Leadership #4 – Gaining Experience

Effective Leadership #5 – Comparing Leaders and Managers

Effective Leadership #6 – Developing Strengths in General

Effective Leadership #7 – Building Personal Strengths

Effective Leadership #8 – Mastering Roles

Effective Leadership #9 – Evaluating Key Leadership Roles

Effective Leadership #10 – Preparing to Lead

Effective Leadership #11 – Staff member recruitment

Effective Leadership #12 – Forming the team

Effective Leadership #13 – Exercising Authority

Effective Leadership #14 – Delegating Tasks

Effective Leadership #15 – Process of Delegation

Effective Leadership #16 – Effective and clear communication

Effective Leadership #17 – Dynamizing Groups

Effective Leadership #18 – Leadership Types

Effective Leadership #19 – Military Leadership Model

Effective Leadership #20 – Collegiate Leadership Model

Effective Leadership # 21 – Decision Making

Effective Leadership #22 – Goal Setting

Effective Leadership #23 – Different Roles in a Team

Effective Leadership #24 – Developing Teamwork

Effective Leadership #25 – Empowering team and team members

Effective Leadership #26 – Rewarding staff members

Effective Leadership #27 – Types of Reward System

Effective Leadership #28 – Leading Discussions

Effective Leadership #29 – Types of Meetings

Effective Leadership #30 – Meeting and its significance

Effective Leadership #31 – Increasing team bonding

Effective Leadership #32 – Analyzing Problems

Effective Leadership #33 – Rendering support to the team


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