Leaders Are Made, Not Born
Sometimes, when people learn about great business leaders, their journeys are told how it sounds like success was inevitable. When said with the benefit of hindsight, it can seem as if leaders were so precocious that they were always marked for success. Most leaders need to work to achieve their aims. There are plenty of ways to make the transition to becoming an effective leader.
Leadership is a skill that people need to practice, not a gift they’re born with. If leaders get complacent, they can start to lose their edge. Like athletic skills, leadership skills require training and practice to stay fresh. It’s essential to find ways to ensure that people keep their problem-solving skills fresh. There are plenty of exercises that can be used at company-wide training or conferences to promote better leadership development.
An excellent way to promote leadership skills is to put people in situations that require teamwork. One way to do this is by splitting a working group into two teams. Present them with a disaster scenario and a list of items they would have to help them survive. Make them pick five or seven items they’d use to make it. Ask them to justify the choices they made. This activity promotes critical thinking and problem-solving. It also requires people to find ways to work together.
Another exercise should be carried out individually; schedule time to meet with employees one by one. Ask each person to think about a difficult situation. For example, ask them to consider what they would do if they made a mistake that cost the company a big sale. How would they explain themselves to their co-workers and managers? Would they attempt to fix the issue? How? What would they do to avoid making the same mistake in the future?
Finally, good leaders need role models. To learn how to be successful, people must know about other high achievers. At the training, ask people to name their heroes and explain why they admire them. Try to book lectures in the workplace from prominent authors or business leaders. Finally, encourage people to become lifelong learners and read biographies of successful, admirable business people.