Have you noticed key individuals within your organization who show signs of leadership? These emerging leaders can be an asset to your company with proper development. Want to encourage your emerging leaders to grow? Here are some simple ways to start.
Communicate Your Plan
Once you have identified an individual as an emerging leader in your organization, don’t keep it secret! Let the individual know that you have an interest in developing their growth and share your leadership plan with them.
Form a Group
Group coaching is one way to allow leaders to support each other and share their experiences. When participants take a role in leading discussions, they are practicing their leadership skills as well as learning from each other. A leadership development group is an excellent way to encourage emerging leaders.
Showcase Your Emerging Leaders
As young (could mean both young in age or young in leadership experience) leaders develop, allow them to be in the forefront of your organization. Give them opportunities to practice leading in a controlled environment. Let them lead the monthly staff meeting, present at a town-hall, or collaborate with other departments. Find ways that they can step into a leadership role and gain experience.
Give Them a Problem to Solve
Use action-based learning to give emerging leaders the chance to solve real-world business problems. Do you need to improve employee engagement? Are you working on improving client intake processes? Whatever current issues your business is facing, give your emerging leader the opportunity to help solve them.
Use Failure as a Growth Opportunity
Failure is inevitable. Give your emerging leader the freedom to take calculated risks. When things don’t work out the way they’re intended, use the chance to provide coaching on how to succeed in the future.
Discuss how the failed execution of the plan could have been altered to ensure success, and what steps could be taken the next time. Resist the urge to “solve” the problem for them. Allow them to wrestle through the process and come up with their own solution. Then coach as necessary to help them make informed decisions.
Become a Mentor
Mentoring is when experienced leaders share their knowledge with others. Establish a mentoring program (either formal or informal – whatever will fit best in your company) to help develop the emerging leaders in your organization.
Tailor the program to meet the needs of your organization. Pair new leaders with high performing leaders at the same level for encouragement, or match mentors from different levels with new leaders to provide additional training.
Highlight Tangible Results
Allow emerging leaders to see how their efforts impact the company. Establish milestones and goals, and then show them how reaching their goals can help the growth of the organization. Leaders need to know that every individual has a role to play in reaching corporate goals. By giving them real-time results tied to their goals and milestones, you can help them both appreciate the efforts of individuals and realize the importance of their own actions.
The misconception that emerging leaders are inherently equipped for success is detrimental to the emerging leader’s development and can cripple an organization’s growth. An effective leadership training program will provide systematic coaching and development. In addition, a successful program will encourage emerging leaders to continue their personal growth. How can you encourage an emerging leader in your company?
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency and My Big Idea™. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.