“Before you become a leader, success is all about growing yourself. After you become a leader, success is about growing others.” Jack Welch, General Electric CEO
Leaders beget leaders. That is if they take that aspect of their leadership role seriously. It’s no secret that managing and executing, goal setting, and vision casting pack their daily schedule. But wise leaders know that an integral part of their job must be nurturing tomorrow’s leaders.
Leadership development comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. And wise management teams know the importance of incorporating these tactics into a purposeful plan that includes strategies such as—
1. Assignments that require stretching
From a bit of a stretch to a significant leap, tasks that challenge an employee’s abilities can provide valuable insight into leadership potential. For those who rise to the occasion and succeed, the sense of accomplishment spurs them toward greater challenges. Who of us knows what we can accomplish without a nudge to accept a challenge? Even a less-than-stellar outcome can be a stepping stone that brings clarity and encourages future growth.
2. Not helping too much / Allowing a little struggle
When an employee comes to you for help, you can approach the situation in two ways. Option one: take over by solving the problem. Option two: coach toward a solution by asking probing questions, suggesting resources, and encouraging the would-be-leader to reach for the answers. Be a sounding board and share applicable insights from past experiences but resist being the problem solver. Critical thinking skills develop muscles when allowed regular exercise.
3. Creating an atmosphere that encourages responsibility and independent thinking
Of course, the opposite of such an environment would be supporting micro-managing and excessive monitoring, both surefire ways to discourage independent thinking. But by cheering for initiative and trusting in the abilities of your employees, leadership potential will blossom into leadership skills. Let them take on new responsibilities, develop ideas, and think outside of the box.
4. Identifying and utilizing mentors
There is no denying that some folks have both leadership and mentoring skills. Not only have they honed the decision-making and people skills necessary to lead, but they also can share their experiences and know-how in a way that those around them can “soak up” these valuable resources.
Often the best mentor candidates happen to be those who have accumulated a wealth of “hidden” knowledge, wisdom, and instinct. They know things that almost no one else does. So, initiating mentoring relationships can help the company retain these invaluable golden nuggets as they transfer to the mentored. It’s truly a win-win situation for all involved.
“Mentors can show employees the roadmap to their success while helping employees draft their own roadmap,” states the Vistage Team. “And a company full of people with a roadmap to success is a well-staffed company.”
A.R. Mazzotta knows a lot about leadership. As a leader in recruiting and staffing for over 50 years, we take seriously the task of placing the right candidates with the right clients to create dynamic, engaged workforces across the great state of Connecticut. Let our team of experienced staffing specialists hone in on your company’s unique staffing needs. Give us a ring today!