Every business needs leaders, most of the time more than one. Leaders make decisions for their team, communicate those decisions, set goals and address the needs of their team. An effective leader functions on their own and will ask for help when they need it. But many businesses hinder the capabilities of leaders and cause unnecessary chaos and disruption in their business. Here is how to cultivate leadership in your business and build a team of effective leaders:
1) Allow teamwork across different departments
Exposing your employees to different parts of your business so they can expand their skillsets is an important way for them to explore their capabilities. Allow specific people to lead projects across multiple departments so they can gain well-rounded leadership skills.
2) Create clear roles and give them authority
To build a team of effective leaders, you must make sure you are clearly communicating their responsibilities and then encourage them to make decisions on their own. Be transparent and show them the ins and outs of how decisions are made. Discuss what direction the company is going in and give them access to as much information as possible, so they can make better decisions. Avoid micromanaging but make them feel comfortable coming to you if they need advice.
3) Don’t treat leaders as followers
One of the important ways to cultivate leadership in your business is to avoid leading someone like they are a follower. An article from Inc.com entitled 4 Ways to Build Leaders, Not Followers does a good job of explaining this, stating that when building other leaders, business leaders too often make “the fundamental mistake of hiring leaders and then tried to lead through them, rather than building them up as leaders.” To build a team of effective leaders and avoid hindering their talents, it’s important to create clear borders for them, give them goals bigger than they can accomplish, challenge them with tight deadlines and slowly let go of coaching them as they grow.
4) Teach them to fix their own mistakes
To cultivate leadership, it’s important to teach them tolerance for mistakes and to nip problems in the bud as early as possible. A good leader doesn’t let their pride get in the way of their ability to admit when they’ve have made mistakes. Good leaders have humility and know how to ask for help.
5) Share with them your passion for the company’s mission
A big part of what drives an effective leader is having passion for the goal they are working towards. If you position your company as a leader in your industry, you are likely to have better talent attracted to your business that is naturally passionate about your goals. Discuss with leaders where the company is going, the importance of their role and the entire purpose of what their team is working to accomplish. Then leave the rest up to them.
6) Encourage them to invest in personal development
To cultivate leadership and build a team of effective leaders, it’s important to encourage them to focus on their own professional development as well. Otherwise, they cannot continue growing and taking on more responsibility. Conduct leadership training seminars regularly and give them access to workshops to expand their skillset.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.