As many of you will know, leadership is not an innate quality that some people simply possess and others do not. Of course, there are personality types that may be better suited to leadership development, but ultimately leadership is a skill that can be learned and developed over time.
As the leader within a business, your actions and decisions create a ripple effect throughout your organisational pond. Like it or not, leadership is both the problem and the solution to personal and professional challenges in your business. Often your employees are may express concerns over your decision making, questioning why you went for “option A” over the obviously better choice in “option B”. This curiosity into your decision making can build and evolve into complaining — not out of Malicious intent but because these employees simply aren’t privy to the same information as their senior leaders.
From a leadership coaching perspective, not being transparent about the internal dynamics of the company can cause more harm than good. Without information, your team could create their own realities and spin an unwanted rumour mill around your office. Instead of increasing the gap between your leadership team and your employees, you should look to build a team of leaders, nurturing those who want more information by giving them more responsibility.
Below are 5 strategies to grow effective leaders in your business:
1. Begin day one
Leadership development starts the day your employee starts, not when they become a senior exec 10 years from now. Waiting until later to build their leadership qualities delays two things: personal growth and organisational growth. Not giving your employee more responsibilities will slow their personal growth – and this is where job dissatisfaction and disengagement creeps in. The more you grow your employee, the more they can bring to your business, allowing you to continue your growth too!
2. Qualify candidacy
Not everybody needs the same exposure to the company’s goals, journey, or vision. There will be brilliant minds within your business who can look 15 years into the future and imagine every minute process that needs to be developed in the process, but they just get the order of priority wrong. Take these minds and set them on the right track.
There will be those in your company that feels completely overwhelmed by your vision and goals and need to know the next immediate thing to do, and there will be those that need to be constantly reminded of the big picture in order for them to stay on task. Qualifying your team as to the kind of leadership they need, will help you develop them into leaders themselves.
3. Hire for character, train for competence
The skills associated with leadership can be learned – it’s not necessary to look for these in your recruitment process. Hiring the right character for your team is more sustainable. The day that new employee starts, you start teaching them leadership qualities. Install the skills needed for leadership into your employees and your team and business will grow. They’ll hold a higher level of accountability and produce work that is of a higher standard.
4. Don’t promote mediocrity
Just because there is a person in line to succeed the CEO doesn’t mean he or she is the right person for the job. You need to make sure when promoting that the move suits both the organisation and the employee. In other words, don’t try and fit a square peg into a round hole – you’ll only hold the business and yourself back from realising it’s full potential.
5. Resist the A+B=C mentality
A good manager does not always equate to a good leader. The two roles have different responsibilities and require different skill sets. If you want to ease the emotional toll associated with employee promotion, make it clear which skills are needed in your organisation for leadership over management, and train people in those leadership development qualities.
Leadership development requires time, focus and a consistent effort to make it work. Plant the seed today and watch your business grow.
To find out more about leadership and engagement visit https://goodtogreat.actioncoach.co.uk/programmes/