All too often, we promote individuals into leadership roles because they are doing a great job, at doing their job. How many times have you heard about companies who take their highest producing salesperson and promote them to sales manager? Within six months, the company is trying to figure out why sales have dropped off.
Unfortunately, when we put people in leadership roles, our expectations often exceed their actual leadership capabilities. We don’t intentionally set people up for failure, but placing staff members into positions of leadership without the benefit of training, mentoring, and coaching, will do exactly that – set them up for failure. How can we expect them to continue being our “super stars” if we don’t provide the tools to help them shine?
As you read the last two sentences, you may have thought “Are you kidding? Who has the time? We are working more with less. I cannot spare them for one minute. And, our training budget is spent on teaching our people how to use the technology that generates revenue for the company.”
Here is the reality – your leadership team needs you to invest the time and a bit of money in their professional development. They are not going to learn how to lead other employees in your company strictly by osmoses. And, the good news is you don’t need to send them to expensive training programs for days on end, only to come back to the office and not be able to practice what they’ve learned due to the demands of the job.
There are many ways to get the leadership development process flowing. Start by initiating the first few experiences. Conduct a 30 minute discussion with your leaders about topics such as setting expectations, recognizing and rewarding star performers, and providing corrective feedback in a way that gets positive results. Then pass the responsibility for future discussions and/or activities on to the leadership team. You’ll see how quickly they brainstorm ideas for developing skills for themselves as well as the people they lead. And, this is true leadership in action.
Here are a few ideas you can use to help your company’s leadership team become more inspired, making them better leaders. The cost for these three tips will be a bit of time, light refreshments, and about $5 to download a movie.