It is realistic to acknowledge that at some point, you may receive a promotion or have new job opportunities. When that time comes, have you thought about what seeds you will have planted so that your job duties are still fulfilled? Will you have trained a successor to fill your specific job title? Will you depart having developed the capabilities of co- workers whom can follow in your foot-steps?
Whichever route you take, leadership is vital. We all have opportunities to nourish leadership in others. The key is seeing leadership development opportunity in everyday situations; we call these situations “Seed Planting Opportunities.”
Seed Planting Opportunities:
- Failure – Framing failure may sound like a harsh approach. Still, it can be effective in testing resilience. This method is also a realistic training technique to prepare leaders for an important lesson. The lesson is that perfection is not what sustains a business, but persistence is. Let your key performers learn from their own mistakes.
- Change – Transition always brings change. Transition brings with it the opportunity to coach on leadership. Promotions or even new procedures present adjustment for the team, so look for someone enthusiastic to help smooth out the changes. This is fantastic leadership experience.
- Nurture – Capitalize on already existing skills and talents. This is a dual benefit technique. There are almost certainly individuals within the office with a specific technical as well as psycho-social expertise that could be of benefit to the organization and employees. Have those experts schedule short training meetings with the staff to pass on the information. Your expert gains leadership opportunities, and your staff gains new skills.
- Peacemaking – No doubt there are opinion clashes within your office. Because everyone has unique perspectives, there must be leaders who help everyone find a middle ground. That leader does not always have to be you. Look for opportunities to help employees facilitate dialogue. Help them practice conflict resolution. Not only will they gain crucial leadership skills, but the whole team will become more productive.
- Encouragement – It seems self explanatory, but can be so easily forgotten. One of the key complaints I hear from employees is “the principle is always more important than me.” By becoming too busy creating the “perfect wheel” we can forget that the process is what creates the win and not the end. Your strong leaders are ones that will stand up to you once in a while, so show them appreciation for doing so. The votes of confidence do wonders for your office morale and succession planning.