As an entrepreneur, you are the leader of your team members. You provide them tasks, direction, and inspiration. They work for you and your business because they believe in your vision.
However, you also want your team members to become leaders themselves so you can take a step back from your business and trust your team to get the job done and done well.
So, how can you develop other leaders in your business?
One of the best ways for people to learn is to receive feedback. Provide your team with regular feedback so they know what needs to change. If problems are not addressed early on, you chance problems arising and habits forming. The process of breaking bad habits can be a lengthy process and can, also, be damaging to your company.
However, your employees are not the only ones who should be receiving feedback. Get their opinions on different matters. Hear what they have to say about a certain task they were assigned. Let them ask questions and receive your advice.
If one believes they can do something and is told by their superiors that they can do it, their sense of empowerment can get them far! Empower your team members to share their visions and to strive for bigger and better. Positive reinforcement lets moments of doubt be overcome.
Challenge them with unfamiliar tasks and encourage them along the way. Give them the tools and resources they need in order to succeed. And, take a step back away from your position as a leader and trust your team to get the job done (i.e. don’t micromanage!).
“The role of leader is not to get other people to follow them but to empower others to lead.” – Bill George
Remember Personal Lives
All of us have things going on outside of work; weddings, birthdays, funerals, etc. Recognize that your employees have other priorities other than work and help them be able to attend such events. When you help them and recognize their personal lives as significant, not only do you gain their trust and loyalty, they are more likely to pay it forward. When they have the opportunity to lead a team, they are more likely to recognize their teams’ personal lives helping them to become trusted leader.
Leadership/Team Building Activities
Somewhere along the way, we have all been involved in a team building exercise. Team building exercises are not only a good way to unite a group, but can help you identify leaders within your team. Whether you take your team on a retreat, take time out of your workweek, or have a company event on a weekend, find some leadership building activities to try with your team. Take a step back and look at how your team operates and who stands as a leader. This is a great opportunity to provide feedback!
Challenge Them With Unfamiliar Tasks
Businesses are complex; they have a variety of different departments and within each department, a variety of different jobs. Challenge your team members by rotating them through the different divisions of your business. Allow them to push themselves and grow their knowledge. Although they may face some difficulties and even some failures, the experience will help them grow as individuals and leaders.
Be a Thought Leader
As a leader in your industry, your expertise is sought after. You are considered one of or the lead resource in your industry. Your ideas gave you the title of “thought leader.” Share this expertise with your team members and allow them to partake in your business. Challenge them with thought provoking questions. Encourage them to ask questions. Explain to them your processes. Be their role model and encourage growth.
One of the best ways for team members to learn is through experience. Your veteran employees can serve as mentors to your newer employees. Set up a mentoring program within your team that allows your veteran employees to mentor your developing team members. Encourage your newer employees ask questions and grow their knowledge of their mentors. Use your veterans as the example!
Sometimes as the leader in your business, it is difficult to step back and let others lead. However, your employees work for you in order to grow their knowledge and expertise. Use these 7 tips to help develop your team members into leaders. There are many more ways to develop your team members not mentioned here. What has worked for you in developing your team members into leaders? What didn’t work?