How can we best equip future leaders to lead? And to lead well?
We believe leaders are the hope for the future. How can we best equip them? Encourage them? Support them? How can we ensure they build alignment and create followers. Consider these ideas:
Acknowledge their strengths. Identifying, recognizing, and developing an individual’s strengths allows them to become more effective leaders. One cannot be an expert in all areas. Malcolm Gladwell speaks to this idea in Outliers: The Story of Success. We only have a limited amount of lifetime, so it makes sense to focus our effort on developing natural talents and abilities.
Be a leader worth following. Or rather, let your mentees follow you. Be their mentor, their role model. Show them what good leadership looks like. And allow them to experience - first hand - difficult situations that require skilled leadership. Setting the right example is at the core of encouraging leadership in others.
Let them fail. But Without failure there is not growth. Plus it also builds character. Some notable individuals who have failed? An editor fired Walt Disney because “he lacked imagination and had no original ideas.” JK Rowling's manuscript of her first Harry Potter book was rejected by 12 publishers. And Steve Jobs was asked (forced) to leave his own company.
Give them ownership. Delegate tasks, but also encourage ownership. Dushyant Josh, founder of Azure Knowledge, preaches this. He believes that growing leaders need to see how lives and livelihoods actually depend on the decisions being made in order to recognize the human element in leadership. He says, “We offer tremendous freedom for employees to make decisions, and we then back up right or wrong. At the same time, we allow them to make corrections if their decision proves to be wrong. After all, how will you taste success if you have not tasted failure?”
Encourage their leadership potential. Trust them and allow them to make meaningful decisions. Yes, there will be mistakes, but they will gain confidence as time goes on. When you see good leadership skills emerging, tell them! Compliment them and encourage them.
Are you equipping your future leaders? Here is how we can help:
The Exceptional LeaderTM- Excel program is designed for today's business leaders with integrated responsibilities of company leadership. Built on the principles of the Work of Leaders(R) Assessment, candidates will enhance their credibility to motivate, inspire and align others.
Over the course of 6 months and 4.5 sessions, candidates will broaden their understanding of leadership principles, deepen their confidence to take on greater responsibility and return to their organizations with a personal roadmap for identifying and addressing key challenges.
You can learn more here.
Daum, Kevin. 7 Ways to Empower Future Leaders, Inc., Accessed 3 April 2018
Greene, J. Israel. Sales Leadership: 3 Simple Ways to Equip Others to Lead, Zoho, 16 Feb. 2018. Accessed 3 April 2018
Page, Michael. How to Develop Your Future Leaders, Michael Page, 11 April 2017. Accessed 3 April 2018.