A Personal Note from Allison:
As the year draws to a close, Leadership Development is still very much on my mind. I have been to several networking group Christmas functions over the last few weeks, and when I explain to people what I do, one question I regularly get asked is, “HOW do you develop the next generation of leaders?” This question was the inspiration for this month’s newsletter, and is good food for thought, as business owners are looking to the year ahead.
As a great leader, the last thing you want is for your followers to be followers forever, right? Part of your role as a great leader, is to help them become great leaders and move on in their careers. The question is, how do you do this? Another question you might ask is, WHY would I do this? I need my followers! Let’s address question #1 first.
How do you help your followers become great leaders?
- Ask for their input. When you are faced with a challenge, ask them what they would do to resolve it? Play out some scenarios, highlighting the pros and cons of their suggestions. Do this regularly.
- Give them stretch assignments. I am a huge fan of these. Stretch assignments are internal opportunities that allow employees to work outside their comfort zones (because this is truly the only way to grow!). They will learn valuable new skills, and networking within the company will really help with their career growth.
- Get them on internal committees, working with people from other departments. This is similar to the stretch assignment, but will have them collaborating with people they don’t usually work with. Great for relationship-building!
- Loan them to another department for 6 – 12 months. This is a fabulous way for them to learn another facet of the business, which will make them much more valuable to the organization. Perhaps you could do a swap with another department, so you aren’t left being short one person. Plan to do this a couple of times over a three to five year period. The payoff will be huge.
- Help them set goals for themselves, for the next twelve months. What do they want to achieve? How can you help them get there? Can you be their mentor, or is there someone else in the organization who would be better suited to mentor this employee? Do they need any external training? Can you help with this?
- Be available. Along the road to becoming a great leader, your employee will have a lot of questions. Make sure they know you are available for them. This show of support will go a long way in helping the employee with their career growth.
Why would I develop my followers to become great leaders?
The answer is simple: As you develop your followers and they move on, this makes room for new employees to follow you and be developed by you. This will be your legacy: A Developer of Great Leaders. Who wouldn’t want that title?
I invite you to connect with me, to learn more on this topic, and how I can help you Develop Leaders in your workplace.