You may have it heard already that some leaders are naturally gifted, while some can nurture this precious skill. Acquiring leadership skills is not as easy as you may have read on the internet. And, it becomes more difficult, when you start to train others.
Many people confuse leadership skills with management. Management is merely about managing things, while leadership deals with people and their dynamics. It requires you to go through a process.
Only leaders can produce leaders. No matter how knowledgeable a person is, if he does not have leadership skills, he cannot train another employee to be a leader. A theorist who has only studied leadership cannot equip other people with leadership skills. The only way to gain leadership skills is by getting trained by a practical leader.
Recruiting – finding the most amazing people who can be turned into leaders
As a leader, your first goal must be to find the best people. In sports, the best coaches are those who can recruit the best talent. If you want to develop someone, they must have potential. If someone lacks the potential, you can never train him/her, no matter how much effort you put into it. If you recruit a non-leader — he will waste your time on skills. It is like asking a cow to climb a tree.
While being a nice fit for the organization is necessary, these candidates must also exhibit a desire to grow along with the talent in their area. Before you begin recruiting, you must have a clear picture of who you are looking for.
So, what do you need to find these leaders?
Good chemistry: If you want to train someone, you must like one. It is complicated and strenuous to train an employee for leadership skills if you don’t like him. If you don’t like someone, it will be difficult for you to trust them and be open with them.
Before you recruit or promote for within, ask your employees to spend some time with that person and try to keep a casual atmosphere. After they have spent some time together, ask your team members whether they want to work under him/her or not.
So, keep the process simple, recruit only people who you like.
Character: Trust is an important part of teamwork and people with good character can be trusted. If you don’t trust someone, it is unlikely that you can develop it. People with good character exhibit consistency in their actions and intentions.
Capacity: Leadership is all about bringing the best out of individuals. If you are looking for people who can be transformed into good leaders, look for capacity. You can assess the capacity of individuals in the following areas:
- Stress Management: The capability of an employee to overcome pressure, deadlines and failures
- Skills: the capability to finish tasks
- Thinking: the capability of thinking creatively, analytically and critically
- Leadership: the capability to build and lead others
- Attitude: the capability to maintain a positive attitude during difficult circumstances
Putting the right employee in the right position
Recruiting great people is a part of the process but that’s not sufficient. As a leader, you must know which employee best fits in a team. But to do this, you must understand what are the strengths and weaknesses of each individual. Great leaders support their employees in finding the right seat.
You may have to move an individual around the company to figure out where he suits the best. If you are recruiting a bunch of employees at the same time, you can build an online performance management tool to keep track of each individual’s performance.
Practice what you teach
If you want to inspire others, you must first model it. Once a woman came to Mahatma Gandhi — the renowned Indian political leader. She requested her to tell her son to stop eating sugar. Gandhi told him to come after three days. After three days when the woman returned with her son, Gandhi told the boy to stop eating sugar. The woman asked him why he asked him to come back after 3 days. Gandhi said, I, too, was eating sweets. I had to stop eating sweets to ask him to stop eating sweets.
Great leaders follow by example. Whatever you teach to your employees, exhibit it in your actions, attitude and intentions.
You must master the following if you want to lead others:
Passion gives you the energy to lead others. If you lack passion, you will find yourself frustrated. People only follow authentic leaders. So, authenticity is the fundamental pillar of leadership. Excellence is a standard that helps you develop others. Success is the purpose of developing others.
Finding the right employees and then transforming them into a leader is a rare skill. Not every leader can train his workers. The process begins with hunting the right talent and ends on the right training. Read the article carefully and employ these tips to turn your workers into great leaders.
By Bilal Ahsan
who is a guest author and blogger.
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