Leadership isn’t about a title or a position. It’s a mentality — an approach to how you do your job.
Leaders don’t just give orders. In fact, someone can lead without ever taking charge of another person.
Leaders are people who take initiative. They’re the ones who don’t wait for someone else to step up. They hold others accountable and hold themselves to the same high standards.
You can develop leaders at all levels of your company and teach them to groom future leaders.
Here are three things to keep in mind when paying leadership forward.
- Clearly communicate expectations. If employees don’t clearly understand that leadership qualities are expected within the company, they’ll never feel empowered to step up, make the judgment call or take the initiative. Make it crystal clear that this empowerment mentality is the rule, not the exception, in your organization. Team members who have shown a desire and ability to lead need to be nurtured through consistent communication from the top.
- Actively train. Back expectations and empowerment with training, which takes raw talent and molds it, turning leadership potential into leadership skills. Through active training, leadership-minded team members will learn important traits required for leadership, such as authenticity — never asking a coworker to do something you wouldn’t do.
- Be honest. Encouragement and training should produce results, and if they don’t, you have to communicate that to your team members. Difficult conversations should never come as a surprise. Your next generation of leaders — and really, everyone in the company — should know where they stand relative to the expectations set. Having that direct, honest communication is a major part of building a culture of accountability, which is essential to grooming leaders.
Ron Kaminski is the founder at CultureShoc. If you need assistance on how to groom better leaders, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.