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Posted on Jun 4th 2019
4 Practices for Developing Effective Leaders
It’s no wonder there are millions of articles, blogs, books, movies, podcasts, and TED Talks on leadership. It’s a vital quality to master for numerous professions, hobbies, and personal priorities. Still, with all the information and resources available, consistent progress remains elusive to many.
For business owners trying to foster the development of leadership skills in employees that may or may not have a natural propensity, the challenge can be incredibly difficult.
Here are four practices you can start today in order to help develop your employees into effective leaders:
Promote a Culture of Lifetime Learning
Ask any leadership expert and they’ll tell you that the best leaders in business are those that are constantly learning. Rather than opposing the idea of something different, they dive deep into various topics to explore opportunities and find new sources of inspiration.
In order to promote a culture that supports the same behaviors, time and expectations are crucial components. Allowing your teams to step out of their everyday tasks to explore something new can spark curiosity, as well as renew or deepen engagement.
Give Them Regular Opportunities to Lead
Suspending assumptions about an employee’s ability to lead might just be the green light he needs to get out of his own way. Encourage your people to get involved, take on responsibility, self guide, and support others in their roles.
Confining employees to environments and roles that offer zero ability to test their leadership skills is a sure way to reduce the possibility of ever seeing what they’re capable of.
Feedback loops are essential, even at the highest level. It’s for that very reason that CEOs and business owners start networking groups and create their own personal boards of advisors.
No employee is exempt from being able to benefit from clear, candid, and productive feedback. Get in rooms with your people, both in team settings and one-on-one conversations to share your thoughts on where they’re excelling and other areas their talents might better support them.
Offer Additional Resources
Some employees seem like natural fits for leadership training exercises. Others may be less obvious. But if your goal is to foster a team of people equipped to take on bigger roles and influence the direction of your organization, don’t hesitate to offer additional resources that will help them get there.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Leadership resources can come in many forms and at many (or no) price points. Find options that align with the interests and habits of your people, as well as the culture and purpose of your organization, to ensure an employee’s leadership development feels natural rather than forced.