For long the task of developing leaders has been outsourced to the Human Resources department, save a few most of them have spent millions of dollars without any fruitful results. Leadership is an experience and it would be naïve to assume that by attending classroom lectures one can master it, as many researchers say, leadership is a journey that needs to be experienced and the real life experiences shape the leaders persona. There are many self-help books and articles on how to become a leader, I thought of scripting down my thoughts on how do you make a leader from the ranks. Using some of these tips you can fast track the leadership development journey of your team members.
Tell Less & Advise More
Rising stars need less support on the basics of performance management, therefore the traditional activities like setting expectations, creating individual development plans and monitoring feedback must take a back seat. Give the rising leaders guidance and feedback that enables them to ask the right questions, rather than spoon-feeding them. As a senior leader you need to desist the urge to micromanage their activities, to be a winner set boundaries and coach them.
Connect Them To Other Rising Stars
Upcoming stars develop best when they are able to tap into and learn from the broader network, by skillfully brokering the connections between rising stars, you can accelerate leadership development. Make it a point to regularly introduce rising stars to other upcoming stars and emphasize knowledge sharing, remember stars don’t shine alone.
Broaden Their Role
More often than not, promotions and horizontal career moves are late to come. One of the time-tested ways of developing leaders is to give them a stretch assignment in the current role itself. Some of the commonly used assignments are, turning around a failing project or pushing them to deal with uncertain situations. Providing challenging experiences and job assignment’s with a clear connection to career advancement is a sure shot way of developing leaders, by giving these stretch assignments, you can improve their job performance in the current role and get them ready for a bigger play in future.
Let Them Learn By Doing
By helping the rising stars get new on job experiences, you have set the ball in motion. The next stage is to ensure that the rising stars have the opportunity as well as the requisite resources to reflect and synthesize what they have learned from these experiences. Go out of the way to provide opportunities to rising stars to safely try out and practice new skills. Without practice these new experiences will have no value in their career. If you don’t give them the opportunity to practice new experiences, there are high chances that they will jump ship.
Blow Their Trumpet
Helping rising stars prepare for future leadership roles is just once part of the story, the other part is to make sure that others see their long term potential as well. Your endeavor should be to educate your peer group and senior management to understand their value to the organization. When rising stars see their manager’s champions their advancement, they tend to work harder and become more engaged with the organization. By being their champion you will build a highly engaged team of high performers.
Establish Your Credibility
You would need to ensure that the rising stars understand your vision for the future accompanied by your game plan for achieving it. On your part, develop a through understanding of the units or the functional areas you manage. As a senior leader your business and leadership credibility will act as catalyst in developing these rising stars. If you are an average member of the senior management bastion, forget donning the role of developing other leaders; first develop your self to be a high-grade leader.
Be Ready To Learn
Research shows that senior leaders who are more receptive to being developed are more effective at developing other rising stars. You should have the courage and openness to clearly acknowledge your own developmental needs and objectives. Ensure that the rising stars see you acting on the developmental feedback you receive; this will make them more open to changing their behavioral traits if needed.
In the era of global change, where the new startups are increasingly challenging the Goliaths, organizations want to fast track leadership development, using these tips you could be the role model.