At 2313 Inc. (Farmington Hills, MI) we pride ourselves on our ability to develop our team members into world-class leaders. In this blog post we will shed some light on how we do it.
If you own a business and it starts growing, you’ll need other people to whom you can delegate management and leadership duties. But how do you develop those ever-important leadership skills in your employees? Here are some tips from 2313 Inc.
Identify the critical skills you need in your leaders. Each organization is different, so you need to take the time to figure out what your needs are and how your current staff’s competencies work into that. Once you know those needs in relation to your company’s strategy, you can begin your efforts to develop new leaders.
Identify leadership candidates. Which of your employees seem to have these critical skills, or which of them could develop those skills with some mentorship from you? Which of them takes the initiative when things need to be done? A good leader knows each team member’s strengths and areas where they need to grow. With that information, a leader can begin building skills in those with leadership potential.
Invest in your team. High-impact companies invest in leadership development more than novices do. Help your staff to participate in programs that will give them the skills they need to become leaders in your organization. It’s worth the cost to send promising employees to workshops and classes.
Teach them to network. By doing so, you’ll help them learn how to make connections with people they don’t know. They’ll also develop some mutually beneficial relationships that will help you and your company. You can start small, with company potlucks or after-work happy hours, and then bring them to larger networking events and introduce them to your connections.
Give them the right experience. If your managers need to be good public speakers, for example, invite your team member to watch you give a presentation and then, later on, ask them to present in your place. You can do the same with duties like running meetings and overseeing projects. All these tasks will help your budding leaders develop their management skills.
Allow them to stretch. It’s okay if your potential leaders struggle a little; it will ultimately help them to build their skills and learn who to ask about what. That doesn’t mean you should sit around and watch while your employee tries to figure out something that’s become easy for you. Give hints here and there, or introduce them to someone in the company who will be better able to help.
Let them take ownership. If you’ve taught your employees how to make smart, informed decisions based on their knowledge of the company and the product, you shouldn’t make them run their ideas by you before executing them. Trust your employees and your mentorship enough to let them make their own decisions. Some of those decisions will result in learning experiences, some will be amazing—but whatever the case, if you let your potential leaders lead, the long-term results will be great.
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