Investment in people is the best investment you can make. As an employer or manager, that means giving your employees the training they need to do their jobs effectively, listening to them when they have something to say, and identifying and nurturing employees who show leadership skills.
Leadership development is so critical to a company’s future success that every company should develop a set of protocols around how to identify and nurture those employees.
Look For Traits That Are Common In Leaders
Top traits important for effective leadership include resourcefulness, decisiveness, doing whatever it takes, and, unsurprisingly, leading people. Make a list of the traits you want leaders in your company to have, and begin to look for employees who exhibit those traits, remembering that these can take time to develop.
Once you have your list of traits, make a corresponding list of how each trait might manifest. Would you recognize resourcefulness if you saw it? Do you know what to look for to discover decisiveness? Think in concrete terms to make it easier to identify potential candidates.
Look For Traits That Your Company Needs In a Leader
Beyond the usual traits, some traits will better serve your particular company and culture than others. In a high-stakes, high-pressure, fast-paced environment, an aggressive and candid leader might be most effective. In another setting, a calming and feelings-oriented leader might be most effective. Do you need a leader who can persuade, mediate, negotiate, strong arm, inspire, pacify, or schmooze? Look to current and past leaders who have done well in your company (and for your company), and come up with a few more traits you wish to identify.
Again, ask yourself how these traits would manifest, and look for occasions when they do.
Talk With Employees Identified As Potential Leaders
Next you can have a casual conversation with each individual you’ve identified as a potential candidate for leadership training. Ask each one if they see these traits in themselves, and if they can give any examples of when they have displayed traits such as leading people or doing whatever it takes.
You can also ask if they have an aspirations of leadership and if not, why. You’ll need to judge whether those are issues that can be easily overcome or red flags to heed now.
Help Identified Employees Actively Develop Leadership Skills
“Leaders are made, not born.” You can help make the leaders in your company by providing them the tools they need to develop the skills your company needs.
A great way to foster this development is with an Learning Management System like Mindflash. Mindflash is an online learning platform that helps companies create courses to train employees on a variety of information and skills, including leadership skills.
By creating a course with Mindflash’s easy LMS platform, you can help employees tapped for leadership become more confident in the skills they have. Not only are you actively developing future managers and executives of your company, but when employees believe that their employer takes an active interest in their professional development, they’re less likely to leave the company.
The Final Step of Leadership Development: Test Them
After identifying, discussing, and training, there’s doing. At some point you’ll need to see how this employee you’ve got your eye on can do in a leadership position. You can start small, by assigning roles like team leader or project leader, and move up from there. Give feedback and ask for input. Remember, it’s an ongoing process!
Train Future Leaders of Your Company With Mindflash
Mindflash is a powerful yet easy-to-use online training platform for businesses of all sizes. Try it for yourself free for 14 days – no credit card required. Sign up for your no-strings trial today!