Cultivating leadership and nurturing talent demonstrates to your staff that they are valued. While some may take a hand’s off approach, the best leaders take active interest in developing leaders. In this way, the emergence of new leaders from within the ranks becomes an indicator of high engagement and a culture of consistent improvement, while also enabling the organisation to grow and evolve.
There as many ways to develop leaders as there are styles of leadership. However, there are some key ingredients that create an environment where leaders emerge both intentionally and organically.
1. Create a learning culture
Development and growth happens where people are encouraged to be curious and learn. This means providing feedback regularly and often, and allowing employees the space to explore new ideas or solutions. Not only does a learning-oriented culture help to cultivate leadership, it also breeds innovation and high-performance.
2.Consider their goals
How can you prepare your team members for leadership if you don’t know what their goals are? In addition to giving you a better understanding of how the individual fits into the whole, taking time to find out what their goals are shows them that they are valued members of the team.
3. Encourage them to stretch
Growth is uncomfortable and challenging. It requires the willingness to stretch yourself beyond what you already know you can do with ease. Creativity and innovation are born out of the need to stretch beyond your comfort zone to accomplish a goal. What’s more, achieving stretch-goals successfully can be a great confidence booster.
4. Become the role model
Intentionally or not, the leaders within an organisation demonstrate the characteristics they cultivate in their teams. In culture and values driven organisations especially, it’s important for leaders to intentionally model the kinds of behaviour they expect from others in leadership.
5. Don’t neglect low performance
Low performance is usually a sign of disengagement and that something isn’t working. Whatever the cause, it’s important to provide the team member with the opportunity to improve, along with actions to be taken. This doesn’t have to be a punitive experience. If you see everyone with the potential of becoming a leader, improving performance be about challenging the employee to do their best work.
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