How can a leader create an environment for other leaders to succeed?
Leadership development isn’t only about the development of the leader. Leadership development is about building a team for success.
There are many things that a leader can do to inspire leadership development within his team. By creating a leadership environment, he is able to motivate others to reach their full potential. If you are a leader, imagine for a moment what your organization would look like if your subordinates took initiative, accepted responsibility, bought into the vision, and took ownership of their projects. The possibilities are endless!
Become the Leader You Would Like to Have
If you want to create an environment where leaders can thrive and develop, then you’ll have to start with your own leadership skills.
Learn the concepts and characteristics of a servant leader. Spend time working on your listening and communication skills. Make sure that you’re the kind of leader that your followers trust and believe in.
Be sure that you are secure enough in your leadership strengths to handle others climbing the leadership ladder. It’s easy to say that you want to build a team of leaders under you, but it’s difficult to carry it through. Don’t sabotage your own efforts by feelings of jealousy or paranoia.
Set aside your own pride and ambitions. Even though building a leadership team will increase your effectiveness, don’t make that your sole motive. It’s not to promote yourself, it’s to further your cause or organization. Be willing to let others take the credit when someone else does well.
Be willing to take the heat for someone under your leadership when a mistake is made. Those under you aren’t there to make you look good; you are there to help them succeed in their work.
Think of the type of leader that you would follow. What characteristic would he portray? Would he only look after his own interests? Would he lay down the law of authority? Or would he come alongside you and work with you for the greater good of the organization and your development.
We want to follow leaders who lead with our best interests in mind.
In order to carry out this leadership environment, you’ll also have to build the right team and surround yourself with the right people. Know what type of leader you want to build and understand the traits they should already possess.
Read the list below for some ideas of the personal characteristics you should look for when choosing the leaders to develop.
1. Empowered Teams
There are many dimensions to this art of management. An important aspect lies in unleashing the power of teams. The concept of empowerment can be a catalyst in making teams more effective.
This article explores how truly empowered teams work and the role of project managers in creating such teams.
2. Collective Ownership
An empowered team understands that the work is done by an individual rarely has value in itself. They believe that it is the team as a whole, which is capable of delivering the desired results.
Every member of such a team is empowered to a degree where they feel responsible not just for their own work, but also for the entire team. All activities are done in a participatory fashion ensuring the use of collective wisdom and consideration of diverse viewpoints.
The environment cultivates true teamwork and collaboration. The final result of such teamwork shows that the whole product is always much greater than the sum of the parts.
3. Self-Organizing Teams
Members of such teams realize that they know more about their job context than what their supervisor does. In this scenario, they do not expect their supervisors to dictate activities to be done by them.
The team jointly determines the path to be followed and evolves their way of working.
4. Non-Hierarchical Structure
These teams are non-hierarchical in nature and all members are encouraged to express viewpoints freely. Constructive arguments take place at all levels and the team resolves issues and moves forward on common ground.
The team respects each and every member and understands that the most important and innovative observations often come from the most unexpected quarter and everyone is receptive to such ideas.
5. Information Visibility
Access to information for all members is one of the key elements for a team to work effectively. Forums exist for communication to happen between team members and the information present with one team member is always available for others.
Knowledge management, harvesting, and sharing are critical elements in the functioning of such teams; openness and transparency are added key attributes of such teams.
6. Common Vision
To ensure that tasks undertaken by different members are aligned to the goal, the team arrives at a common vision. Members of the team are aware of it while performing their activities.
This vision incorporates the views of all stakeholders such as customers, the team, and the organization. The team revisits the vision regularly and modifies it as per the requirements.
7. Intrinsic Quality
In such teams, quality consciousness is inherent in each person and is not imposed from any outside source. Each person wants to deliver work with the greatest quality and does not wait for any external inputs. There are pride and passion towards their own work and to that of the entire team.
They become high performers who are adding value to the project, the customer, and the organization.
Team members are disciplined and understand that greater empowerment also means greater responsibility. They become self-disciplined and receptive to self-improvement. Once they become leaders of their own selves, they become ready to lead the others as well.
Who Should I Look for in Potential Leaders?
Look for leaders who:
- Can catch your vision as a leader
- Demonstrates integrity and character
- Takes initiative
- Desires to grow and learn
- Is both confident and humble
- Is teachable
- Takes responsibility for their actions
- Uses effective communication skills
- Is trustworthy
- Demonstrates good time management
- Is a team player
- Is deserving of respect
Building the Right Team
- Identify key Players to Develop. Find those who have already demonstrated some leadership abilities. Who among your workers can you trust?
- Choose Leaders Who Have Common Organizational Goals. If members on the team have conflicting goals or visions, your ideas and plans will always clash. Momentum happens when everyone works together toward the same purpose.
- Create a Leadership Development Programs. Put time and money into training these up and coming leaders. Build their strengths and strengthen their skills.
- Coach the Emerging Leaders One-on-One. Engage them in dialogue so they can glean from your leadership skills and experience. Mentor them in their growth. Help them apply the leadership lessons they are learning to their work.
- Give Your New Leaders an Outlet. Let them try out their newfound skills. Give them opportunities to put their training and mentoring into practice. Delegate some of your own projects and increase their responsibility.
- Train Your Leaders to Build a Leadership Team Under Them. Help them identify the key players who have the same goals. Give them permission to promote training, coach their leaders, and delegate responsibility.
Do you see how creating a leadership environment can increase your effectiveness? By putting these suggestions into practice, not only will you build leaders, but you’ll also inspire loyalty and motivation.