Monday, March 8, 2021

Strategies to Develop Leaders in Your Organization


Leadership development has become a necessary focus for any organization that wishes to separate itself from the pack and become established in markets that are always changing the rules.

Companies need to invest in leadership development, but more importantly, they need to make sure it’s part of their culture. There’s nothing wrong with a one-day seminar, but it’s not a leadership development plan. Creating a culture takes more than a single rah-rah meeting.

While there are some obvious traits leaders possess (i.e. taking initiative, working hard, good with people, etc.), here are a few specific traits you can look for:

1. Future leaders naturally attract followers. Good leadership is contagious. If you want to identify a future leader on your team, look for the person everyone enjoys being around. If people respect this person now, they’ll have an easier time respecting his or her leadership.

2. Future leaders are easy to spot in meetings. This doesn’t mean they’re always the ones sharing their ideas. Instead, potential leaders are the ones asking the right questions, leaning in to learn more, and even challenging the status quo.

3. Future leaders can solve problems. Good leaders are problem-solvers. If you want to identify a potential future leader in your organization, find out if he or she is gifted in solving problems and being proactive about creating solutions.

4. Future leaders bring valuable ideas to your team. Good leaders feed off the ideas and thoughts of others. If you think a person might have the ability to become a key leader in your organization, bring him or her in on a higher-level meeting and see how the interaction goes. Does he provide value? Is she honest in her ideas and opinions? If so, that person is displaying what it takes to champion great ideas.

5. Future leaders can handle pressure. Pressure is the catalyst for turning a piece of coal into a diamond. If you want to identify and develop leaders within your organization, give them a task or an assignment that pushes them out of their comfort zone. You’ll be able to see how they handle a glimpse of the pressure that comes with any leadership role.

Creating an intentional strategy for developing employees is one of the most important things you can do as a leader to impact the culture of your organization. This is especially true for those you would categorize as future leaders.

If you want to be intentional about developing future leaders in your organization, here are a few keys to consider:

1. Communicate Your Vision to Employees

Every successful business has a vision. Maintain regular communication about the company’s vision and request your employees and other people to help you to achieve it. Sharing your business motives with your employees allows them to set their mission and the future leaders see their future in your company and work towards attaining it. Therefore, it is imperative to have a common goal with your employees. Keep them on track each day to ensure that they do not lose focus. Always remember that the future of leadership in your company is determined by the manner that you handle your current workers.

2. Show Employees You Trust Them

If you want to help employees develop, trust them to do their jobs by getting out of the way. Let them know what your expectations are by modeling the behavior you expect—show them you trust them. This not only lets employees know what they need to succeed and gives them greater ownership, but it also shows them that credibility and trust are important in your organization.

3. Use Job Rotation to Broaden Experience

Give your workers a chance to broaden their expertise by working in different parts of the company. This will allow you and them to discover both their strengths and the areas where they need additional training. It will also give them an appreciation of other roles that will be beneficial in managing others in those areas.

4. Create Coaching and Mentoring Opportunities

One of the best ways to develop future leaders is by having them learn directly from other successful leaders. Once you’ve identified candidates that could potentially be great leaders, match them up with a great leader to mentor them, coach them, and consistently provide feedback. A mentor can provide customized guidance that helps prepare junior employees to become more effective leaders in the future. Building these strong relationships early creates opportunities for open, honest lines of communication throughout the leadership development process.

5. Provide “Stretch” Assignments for Employees

Offer a chance for your employees to prove themselves while also cultivating new talents. Providing assignments that stretch them outside of their comfort zone will force them to learn to better manage stress and tap into their creativity and problem solving abilities. Even failure can provide valuable lessons that can better your team.

These are just a few of the ways organizations can develop leadership potential in the workplace. By keeping communication open, incorporating leadership into regular professional development, and giving emerging leaders opportunities to grow, organizations can begin to build their leadership pipelines from within. 


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