It’s a common perception that it takes a certain kind of person to be an effective business leader. Individuals who exhibit passion for the business, stalwart integrity, a can-do attitude and an ability to inspire their colleagues naturally tend to rise through the ranks of an organization. However, people with this potential to lead don’t become great business leaders overnight. It’s up to their seniors to train and prepare them for the responsibilities ahead. Here are some great tips for training up effective leaders in your business.
Pick the Right People
Certain employees may seem like perfect fits for a leadership position based on their current role and personality. However, before determining their candidacy, it’s essential to take their performance and experience factors into account. You have to start with the right person long before you put any resources towards training them up and enhancing their skills. They should have a good track record of success in whatever their current role is, as well as evident leadership traits. There will be certain responsibilities they’ve never had to deal with before, but these two fundamental traits make for an incredibly helpful springboard. Finally, don’t allow favoritism to cloud your judgment, and always put the needs of the company first.
Establish that They Understand the Business
There are various universal traits that make it easier for people to hit the ground running in a leadership role, such as experience in more minor management roles, or holding specific qualifications like a bachelors in organizational leadership. However, none of these will measure up to an intimate understanding of the specific company. You need to make sure anyone you’re considering for a future leadership role is well-versed in where your business is ultimately heading, and the kind of professionals and skills it needs in order to make it there. If added technology is going to be essential to the long-term growth of the company, you need to make sure that leadership candidates are familiar with this technology, and its importance to the industry at large. They may not be all that interested in writing code, for example, but they will have to know the best way to hire, communicate with, and guide the coders that you hire later.
Develop Their Listening Skills
It’s a common misconception that business leaders are there mainly to give out instructions and correct things when they go wrong. A truly great leader will always take their team’s feedback and comments into account when making the decisions that are required of them. One of the best ways to develop this trait in candidates for leadership is to become a better listener yourself. Encourage more input if you’re not getting enough, always listen to what you receive, and act on it. Obviously, not all the input you get will be helpful, and if the bulk of your employees ran the company problems would quickly arise. However, if you fail to listen, and only ever have your own agenda in mind, you’ll block out everyone else’s input, and could risk missing out on some great ideas.