As business leaders, we take on various roles such as educator, coach, motivator, and strategist, all while continuing to communicate our vision to our teams. Coaching skills become an essential part of our toolkit to improve the team’s overall performance as we get closer to our goals.
Vincent Lombardi, regarded as one of the greatest football coaches of all time, once said,
“Leaders are made, they are not born,”
which continues to be an even more relevant observation today.
This statement is so very true in the fact that there are leaders who are naturally visionary and charismatic, there are also those who have been nurtured and have done the hard grind to become the leaders they are today.
Perhaps the greatest fulfillment as a leader is to witness the personal growth and progress of your team and to watch them evolve into respected leaders in their own right.
Continuous leadership coaching and guidance will aid in successfully bringing out the best in your team as they bloom.
Here are 7 effective ways to prepare them to step up and elevate to leadership roles
The power of “why”, more popularly referred to as the purpose or motivation is a key to effectively accomplishing your goals.
As Simon Sinek, an author and inspirational speaker had put it, very few people know why they do what they do. This can be aligned with a study conducted by Gallup that shows that only 1 in 3 employees are engaged in their jobs.
Sharing and articulating the purpose to your team members can motivate them to become more involved and execute meaningful work even with the simplest of tasks. Understanding how their outputs contribute to the company will provide them with a clearer sense of direction. It can also encourage team collaboration rather than purely following “blind orders”.
2. Enrich Skills
Hard skills are equally as important as soft skills for the efficient completion of tasks. It’s helpful for leaders to ensure that ongoing training is available to team members in support of their growth, particularly on hard skills like computer/typing skills, bookkeeping, or proofreading.
On the other hand, soft skills or self-developed qualities such as communication, empathy, problem-solving, and listening also need a venue to be harnessed since they are vital to moving to a higher level.
Though work specialization is often beneficial, well-rounded team members may bring fresh and innovative ideas to improve and enhance their work.
Through skills enrichment, team members increase their readiness to take on new opportunities with boosted self-confidence.
3. Recognize Success
Recognition of exemplary performance enhances a team member’s confidence and job satisfaction. Positive reinforcement offers several benefits. Providing rewards such as paid time off or a team get-away recharges your team members and increases team productivity.
Offering incentives such as partnering bonus plans with company profitability also empowers your team members, directly aligning their efforts to reward while helping the business grow.
4. Set an Example
Although a heavily used cliché, “walk the talk” is one of the most practical ways of teaching expressing expectations, and setting the bar for performance – try to be a role model to your team.
Actions still prove to be more persuasive than words. Mirroring what you say to your team members allows them to follow in your footsteps with fewer inhibitions. Profound attributes such as trustworthiness and fairness are incorporated by your team when they see it in you.
Similarly, respect for time can be embedded into company culture if you show the same regard not only for your clients but for your team members as well.
5. Enhance Ownership and Accountability
Studies show that our motivation rises as our level of control over situations increases. People who are more inclined towards the internal locus of control have self-efficacy and are more likely to take responsibility for their actions.
Taking ownership of a project allows you to proactively deliver results and holds you to account in situations, such as missed deadlines. One can only achieve abounding growth by enhancing accountability and ensuring that one plans ahead to prepare for the unexpected.
Let your team grow by not doing their work for them. Your guidance should be present but try to take a backseat and allow your employees to struggle a bit and learn for them to shine. You should be a guide.
6. Lead with Empowerment
A great leader sets clear, attainable goals and encourages employees to make informed decisions based on their roles and capabilities.
Empowered employees are cultivated in a culture of trust rather than fear. In a such workplace, they are unafraid of speaking up and are confident in taking ownership of their tasks and making decisions.
By leading with empowerment, your team’s resilience and optimism are continually being reinforced as you overcome any obstacle along the way.
7. Establish Networks
Once your team is equipped with the proper mindset, skills, and attitude, helping them to build networks is necessary to elevate their career. Creating connections during company events such as potlucks or sports events will help improve their confidence in taking new opportunities.
It is also essential in enhancing their communication and people skills to prepare them for future leadership roles.
Grooming your team as future leaders entails a lot of coaching, building up those skills, and empowerment, but its fruits are also rewarding. On the contrary, since not all employees become leaders, you are fortunate for having acquired the power to share, shape, and cultivate your team.
Adkins, A. (2016, June 10). U.S. Employee Engagement Slips Below 33% in May. Gallup, Inc. https://news.gallup.com/poll/192575/employee-engagement-slips-below-may.aspx
Arak, Jenna. (n.d.). Real Talk: Are Leaders Born or Made? The Muse. Retrieved October 6, 2021, from https://www.themuse.com/advice/real-talk-are-leaders-born-or-made
Cherry, K. (2021, August 16). Locus of Control and Your Life. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-locus-of-control-2795434
Fond. (2020, March 10). 8 Ways to Transition an Employee into a Leadership Role. Retrieved from https://www.fond.co/blog/8-ways-leadership-role/