For the follow-up to my first blog on leadership, I want to transition from the idea of developing as an individual leader to leadership at an organizational level. How does a team, a business, or any organization build leaders throughout every level so that the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts?
As I mentioned in the last blog, I am a person who believes that the skills of a great leader can be learned. This means that any organization has the potential to reap the benefits of strong leadership with the right mindset and approach. It happens by building a corporate culture that emphasizes the qualities that make great leaders, stresses the importance of development through practice, and makes an organizational investment in training.
Create a culture of leadership
Having strong leaders at the top is integral to success, but it is not enough. A great coach can only do so much. On a sports team you also need great captains and self motivated teammates. Getting all team members to be leaders is a vital aspect of organizational success. It requires everyone to clearly understand his or her role and perform it at a high level.
Business owners and managers have to find ways to empower their people.
As a coach, I always got the most out of my athletes when it was clear that I cared about them and valued their contributions to the team no matter how big or small. The same is true in a company. If you show your team members that you appreciate what they do and are concerned about them on multiple levels, they will be more willing to fully invest in their work and go the extra mile when needed.
Make leadership a training priority
From an organizational perspective, leadership development should be a part of every company’s training plan. Investing in this kind of development is invaluable. Put time into establishing a methodology around leadership and a plan for implementing the training to raise the level of each employee.
When I was a coach, we would develop practice plans for our athletes and it was important that the plan was created with the big picture in mind. There would be different types of technique, varying levels of intensity, and mental as well as physical development. Each practice was a stepping-stone, and while that process did not guarantee that every athlete achieved a specific goal, it did ensure growth. The outcome is not nearly as important as the journey.
The right development plan in your company will create better leaders who will learn more about themselves in the process. Stronger leaders throughout your organization will improve your bottom line and contribute to growth both individually and organizationally.