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Friday, August 25, 2023

Lean Quote: 5 ways To Develop Future Leaders in Your Organization

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"We need to foster curious minds with a desire to learn and a passion to discover new and better ways of doing things.  —  Simon Brown

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.

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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