4. Put the formal structures in place.
Nearly all successful programs have at least two core components: specific leadership training and organizational support through coaching and other strategies. You will need to plan how such structures will be implemented.
Formal training can include such elements as: effective business communication, conflict resolution skills, team building, handling different personality styles, time management, delegation skills, goal setting, critical coaching skills, and areas specific to your business.
Organizations can support the growth of talented employees by helping them stretch into leaders in the following ways:
Coaching – providing your potential leaders with the one-on-one attention needed to help take them to the next level quickly.
Mentoring – partnering a less experienced practitioner with a seasoned leader can create and sustain professional relationships, and model effective leadership strategies and skills that develop into leadership action.
Study groups – small groups of individuals, as equals with current leaders, who study a particular leadership topic or issue. Employees can gain leadership experience by taking responsibility for planning, organizing, and facilitating the group.
Planning together – collaborating on planning workshops, committees, and other events to learn the associated leadership skills. You should provide appropriate resources and offer ideas that will stretch potential leaders’ thinking.
Modeling leadership skills – You need to exhibit the qualities that you want to develop in others. Examples could include the following: Show up on time. Do as you say. Finish what you start. Be courteous. Know the business. Act with integrity. Be decisive. Be thorough. Exude self-confidence and courage. Humility. Be open to all possibilities…
After-action reviews – debriefing sessions that engage employee leaders in understanding what happened, what went well, what didn’t go well and why. For example, leadership skills will improve by having potential leaders analyze: what happened in today’s meeting or activity? in what ways were we effective? in what ways do we need to improve? what actions will we take to meet our goals?