Industry Buzz: 3 Tips for Developing Leaders in Your Business
“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” – Vince Lombardi
As a business owner or operator, you are a leader. Your employees look to you for direction, advice, approval and constructive criticism. However, you didn’t just fall into this role — your position as a leader came through hard work, dedication and drive.
You also likely had a mentor to help you along the way. Maybe your parents were great mentors. Maybe your professor in college gave you advice that you continue to hold onto today. Or maybe you had a boss — when you weren’t the top dog — that imparted wisdom that has shaped how you now lead others.
Without those important influences, would you be as successful as you are today? I of course can’t say no definitively, but I can guess that your leadership skills would at least be different, if not worse.
Your employees are looking for similar direction. Not everyone who enters your company will automatically be a leader. But with some direction, they can soon be following in your footsteps as great leaders. And this is vital to your business’ success — no successful company has just one leader at the helm. No, successful companies have multiple leaders who help steer the ship, as a team, towards success.
- Set up a weekly or bi-monthly meeting where your future leader can share their current struggles and triumphs. Use this meeting as an opportunity to problem solve issues and offer advice on how new hires are doing, developments in an on-going project, new business ventures and more.
- But don’t be afraid to challenge them. As a mentor, it’s vital not to hold your mentee’s hand through the leadership process. Suggest an approach, but at the end of the day each leader has their own style, and your mentee we’ll need to figure out what style works best for them in their leadership journey.
- Offer educational opportunities where they can grow professionally and personally. Is your mentee interested in attending a conference where they can learn more about an area they don’t feel confident in? If you can help, then do. Even doing small things such as buying leadership books can go a long way in your mentee’s development.
Do you have a mentor that helped you get to where you are today? What advice did they give you?