In earlier editions of this weekly newsletter, I have written about the importance of helping our team members grow into their full personal and professional potential. That is part of our core responsibilities as leaders.

We want to see our teammates learn, progress and prosper. If it cannot be done at our own organization, then we can help them secure new positions at other organizations by providing meaningful advice and great recommendations.

What about our friends and relatives, people who do not work with us? How can we help them advance in their own careers?

I thought about that question this week when I heard a lovely story from a friend of mine. This friend had recently been laid off when her company had decided to lay off hundreds of employees.

She was away from home and having a social visit with two people from the same company. These managers had been unaware of her layoff. When they heard about it, they immediately stopped the conversation, picked up their phones and started texting people they know on behalf of my friend. What admirable behavior!

As leaders, we can look out for our friends and relatives, whether we work with them or not. Have you stayed on the lookout for your friends? They need mot be unemployed. Maybe they are simply underemployed or underappreciated. How can we help them advance and move toward fulfilling their potential?

We can offer a variety of suggestions:
-We can connect them with other people within our own network
-We can encourage them to expand their own network
-We can help them set up informational interviews
-We can offer the URLs for helpful job-hunting websites
-We can ask for copies of their CVs and spread them around
-We can make book recommendations that will help them in their job search or help them succeed in their next job
-We can recommend helpful podcasts to which they can listen
-We can help them create spreadsheets of contacts
-We can use our spare time to teach then new skills they will be able to use in their next position
-We can provide a willing ear when they feel the need to vent
-We can encourage them to reflect upon their professional goals or to journal about them

Have you helped a friend or relative lately who needed professional help? If not, who can you help this week? Identify someone who could benefit from your advice, experience or wisdom. After you make a move to help someone, let me know what you accomplished. I would love to hear about it.

Note: This week I am heading to Israel with my wife for two weeks. So this leadership newsletter will go on hiatus for three weeks. See you after I return!

If you believe this content would resonate with a friend or colleague, please feel free to forward it along!