As a small business owner, you may not have the resources of a large corporation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have effective leadership. With the right strategies and tools, you can grow leaders who deliver profit-driven results.
What Is Leadership Development?
Leadership development is about helping your people grow and develop their skills to become effective leaders. Effective leadership development involves coaching, training, guidance, and support to help employees develop skills in the following areas:
- Decision making
- Project management
- Network building
- People management
- Problem solving
- Coaching and developing others
With the right leadership development, your current and future leaders get the skills they need to succeed.
Why Is Leadership Development Important?
Leadership development is a critical investment that can help your company, your people, and even you reach your goals. By equipping leaders with the right tools and resources, you prepare them to meet the demands of their role and make a lasting impact on your organization. Without an effective leadership development program, the company can experience high turnover, low performance, low morale, and a toxic culture. And without strong leaders to help you lead, you can drown in the day-to-day details.
For example, when leaders don’t provide their team members with the opportunity to grow and develop, their performance can become stagnant. A lack of development not only impacts the quality of their work, but it also stunts their career growth—and the growth of your business. Without encouragement and guidance, your employees don’t reach their full potential, leading to lost productivity over time.
8 Qualities of a Good Leader
A good leader has a wide range of qualities, but a few fundamental leadership qualities include:
- Inspire others and develop a vision
- Set clear goals, stay focused, and communicate effectively
- Offer and receive feedback
- Know the strengths and weaknesses of themselves and their team members
- Stay approachable, honest, and committed
- Demonstrate high emotional intelligence
- Focus on problem solving
- Execute a strategy successfully
How to Grow Leaders in Your Small Business
Building a leadership team is critical to an organization’s success and so is growing leaders. Consider the guidance below to help you get started:
Start Developing Leaders Early
Developing leaders is a process that spans months, even years. That’s why it’s so important to identify potential leaders and develop them early. It can be difficult to spot potential leaders in a crowd of employees, but there are a few key signs to look out for:
- Do they take initiative?
- Do they come to you with solutions and not just problems?
- Do they motivate others?
- Are they committed to success?
- Do peers come to them for answers?
If you think you’ve identified someone who checks all the boxes, don’t hesitate to start developing them.
Be an Excellent Role Model
Adults learn best when they see an example of how to ‘do it right,’ so be that good role model for them to observe and copy. Lead and manage them the way you want them to lead and manage their team members, modeling clarity, candor, and caring.
Provide Constructive Feedback
Constructive feedback is a powerful tool that helps new leaders identify areas of improvement and develop skills for success. Providing timely, actionable, and caring feedback empower steam members and help them understand their roles and responsibilities very clearly. Regular feedback also creates a positive environment of collaboration and open communication where everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas.
When giving feedback, always find plenty of positive things to give positive feedback about! This is feedback rule #1. Then you can occasionally focus on specific areas of improvement and jointly come up with concrete solutions. While criticism should always be respectful, it should also be honest and sincere.
Stress the Importance of Soft Skills
When it comes to growing leaders, don’t forget to focus on their people skills, or soft skills. Hard skills, the technical, industry-specific skills, can be taught and improved with experience, but soft skills require a deliberate and sustained focus. For example, communication is one of the most important soft skills for leaders to possess. Clearly articulating ideas and providing feedback can help build trust and foster collaboration among team members.
Help Leaders Challenge Employees to Solve Problems on Their Own
Leaders need to have autonomy and ownership over their decisions and projects, so when you’re developing leaders, avoid holding their hand during the problem-solving process. When you give your leaders the power to make decisions and provide them with the resources they need, you’re empowering them to take on new responsibilities and expand their skill set.
Provide Adequate Training
Even the most naturally gifted leaders face learning curves when transitioning to new roles and projects. Invest in leadership training and maybe you want to attend yourself. For busy leaders, the best format for leadership training is to have someone conduct at your facility in small weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly chunks of time, say 1 or 1 ½ hour sessions. And make sure the sessions include discussion time and not just lecture.
Implement Servant-Style Leadership
Servant-style leadership is simply the right leadership style. Managers who use this style of leadership serve their team and your organization first instead of prioritizing their own objectives. Companies that have adopted servant-style leadership see increased productivity, better employee morale, and even increased profits. With this leadership style, employees feel valued and supported, so they’re more likely to give their all to your small business.
Grow Your Leaders With Servant Style Leadership
Inspire Results Business Coaching can help you grow leaders to deliver profit-focused results using our SERVANT model and servant-style leadership coaching methods.The SERVANT model is a set of methods and tools that encompass every aspect of running a small business . Within just a few months of implementing the SERVANT model in your small business, you’ll begin to see great results in your culture, operations, and profits. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you grow leaders using our SERVANT model and servant-style leadership.