Developing Future Leaders
Reflections this week come from a group of epic leaders I met on Wednesday as I facilitated the full day training, Better Conversations Everyday. The group was about 40 leaders total, from a variety of business backgrounds.
To say this group was inspiring, is an understatement.
Each of these folks was an already well developed, highly skilled, super insightful leader (if not founder and CEO), of their organization. Thus, the content was delivered from the perspective of how they could improve their communication strategies to assist in developing other leaders within their own organizations. As always, my interactions with others inspired today’s topic, and how we all can continue to develop others within our organizations.
A few thoughts (often times reminders) on how organizations can advance leaders.
Know how to spot leadership potential
To help advance a leader, you need to know leadership traits. There are several signs of leadership material that you can look for. Pay attention to anyone who brings people together to solve problems or achieve tasks in novel or thoughtful ways.
Are they going out of their way to accomplish goals with others? Even better! Do they ask questions about assignments, listen carefully, and explain tasks to colleagues? If so, they have serious leadership potential and it’s time to take the next steps!
Place advancing leaders into opportunities to show their abilities
Once you notice leadership potential, assign rising leaders new opportunities such as project management, communication initiatives, or the chance to train new employees. This is a great way to assess their capacity as potential leaders.
As your rising leader takes on new roles, recognize their strengths and weaknesses. Nudge them out of their comfort zone and see how they respond. Do they accept new challenges with grace or frustration? How do they react when things don’t go as planned?
Remember that this is a learning and growing process. Take some notes so that you can share them with your advancing leader.
Now it’s time to let them know you are taking them under your wing! Take your rising leader to coffee or lunch and share your observations with them. Ask them about their long-term goals to be sure they are interested in a leadership role.
If they are, then great! Share additional notes, ask about their short-term goals, and allow them to share thoughts about areas for improvement. Once you have realized their goals and ideas, you can move accordingly with their advancement.
Take them to networking events
Taking your rising leaders to networking events (which I observed on Wednesday with the group I worked with) is a great way to advance their role in your organization. Whether you take them to a conference, career fair, or business expo, connecting your advancing leader with others will inspire them to take on new initiatives, connections, and tasks!
Invest in professionalization
Investing in the development of advancing leaders’ skills, knowledge, and general how-to can go a long way. You can recommend literature, hold a reading group, or develop a workshop to share your own insights with your rising leader. Whatever you have to offer will help new leaders in their journey toward the best that they can be.
Feel free to check any one of the ELEVEN training topics Creating Community LLC can host for you and your team of leaders - or we can customize to meet your needs!