It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re in, strong leadership is essential to determine success. If you’re fortunate enough to have a great team working with you on your business goals then providing the model for leadership will become your responsibility. There are many effective “tools” you can use to strengthen the bond between the team and encourage your employees to step up as leaders. Consider the following:
Give credit where credit is due
Everyone loves praise! Don’t hesitate to tell others that they are doing a good job and you should acknowledge your team’s efforts when appropriate. But you should also be fostering an atmosphere of contribution from other staff members, those who are in the background and who might not yet be a “star.” When you encourage the free flow of ideas then you might discover a hidden gem among your leadership team.
Support the families
If your team members have family obligations, you should honor those by offering support. Is it really going to hurt business by letting a dad go watch his son’s soccer game or letting a mom attend a parent/teacher conference? Probably not. However, when you support the importance of your staff’s family then you’re acknowledging why they’re all working on the same team: to provide for that family. That is going to promote stronger loyalty and leadership.
As the saying goes, “Some men are born to greatness and others have greatness thrust upon them.” Translation: a leader can be born or made. You won’t have a chance to help your team strengthen their leadership skills unless you provide them with the opportunity to put them to the test. A strong leader often leads from behind and allows their staff to take charge.
You might have a handful of strong leaders already working on your team. If so, then encourage them to seek out protégés they can mentor. Leadership skills work best when they are shared. Think of this is an on the job leadership training program, just a less formal one.
Formal leadership training
Speaking of leadership training, you could solicit outside help to strengthen your leadership team. That help can come in the form of qualified leadership trainers. These trainers will assess the needs of your company and set up a series of workshops and training exercises for your staff to participate in. This could mean a weekend retreat or a day lone seminar. In either case, you might be amazed at what can be revealed when your staff is taken out of their “comfort zone” and challenged to expand their own leadership qualities.
You might think that a weekly pay check for a job well done is enough incentive. In today’s tough job market that might be true. However, you shouldn’t discount offering some form of incentives for your staff if they can meet certain goals. Even something as simple as a paid company lunch away from the office can get employees fired up and working stronger as a team. When that happens, leaders will rise to the top and you’ll be able to cultivate them for future assignments.