4 Ways To Turn Your Employees Into Leaders

4 Ways To Turn Your Employees Into Leaders

“Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.”
- John Maxwell

The business world faces a challenge as veteran leaders are gradually stepping down from their positions with only a limited number of suitably qualified and experienced individuals who can take their place. This shortage in the leadership pool can be detrimental to the future of companies. The absence of able leaders can disrupt the business and cause it to struggle in the face of increasingly aggressive competition.

But why are organizations experiencing this shortage? Why are there not enough leaders? The answer is simple: We are not doing enough to foster them. Not all leaders are born - most of them are made. Molding leaders from our existing staff should be one of our top priorities to ensure continued growth. However, a staggering 61% of companies admit that they are not doing anything to help their employees become leaders.

Without the guidance of seasoned mentors, individuals will either stagnate, or they will go somewhere that gives them the opportunity to grow. Don’t lose your potential leaders - follow these tips to enable your people to carry your vision into the future:

1. Encourage networking.

Networking teaches us how to connect with people we don’t know with confidence. Start your protégés with a small group of people within your organization before bringing them outside the company. It may not sound appealing to them at first, but before long they will find it stimulating and rewarding.

According to an Entrepreneur article by Andre Lavoie, networking teaches employees how to carry themselves and represent the company. In addition, it allows them to meet people who can give them new knowledge and business opportunities. Having regular interactions with other professionals can enhance their reputation in the industry.

2. Provide the right learning experience.

Experience is the best teacher. Nothing can help your employees develop their leadership skills better than giving them suitable opportunities to test their abilities. Start by delegating some of your tasks. It will provide them with a glimpse of what a leader does inside your organization.

people attending a seminar

You can also invest in their training by taking them to industry events and giving them access to relevant workshops. While you can accompany them to show them the ropes, you should also push them to attend some events on their own. In addition, recommend books and online content that will help them overcome any shortcomings.

3. Give them a chance to solve their problems.

When your employees encounter issues, let them have a crack at finding the solutions before intervention. These are key moments that will show you how well they apply the things you’ve taught them. You might be surprised to discover just how much they are capable of.

person solving a rubik's cube

Giving them room and the tools to solve their problems is always better than resorting to constant interference. Micromanagement will only hold them back in developing their decision-making skills and sense of accountability. So, take a step back and let them do their thing.

4. Make sure you mentor them.

As a leader, it is expected that you will take on the role of their mentor as well. You can’t turn your employees into leaders if you leave them to their own devices without having first provided comprehensive guidance. So, establish a mentor-mentee relationship with your people and give them the benefit of your experience.

It’s vital to get to know them and their goals - both short and long. Give them advice on how to achieve their objectives, and have an open door policy so they know they can count on your support when they encounter setbacks. Also, consistently set the right example so that they gain a clear understanding of the kind of leader they want to become.

father teaching his son how to turn employees into leaders

Turning employees into leaders does not only guarantee the long term success of your business. It also helps attract and retain the talent you need to make that success happen. According to LinkedIn, the majority of relevant survey respondents consider leadership development opportunities to be their top reason for staying with a company. Losing people costs a lot of money.

There is a vast population of potential leaders at your disposal. They are just not being adequately prepared and supported. This has got to change. Leadership development is no longer a luxury but a necessity, so start investing in your future leaders today!

“The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.”
- Harvey S. Firestone

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