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Grooming The Leaders Of Tomorrow: What You Can Do Right By Your Employees

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Managing a team of 20 was taking quite a toll on Nana.  She wished there was a way she could make work a little more pleasant.  Gazing at the sunset, she felt a sense of calm descending on her. Suddenly, her attention was captured by a flock of ibises flying in a V-formation.  She was surprised to see the birds at the tail end and head were periodically rotated.  She remembered her science lessons: birds fly in a V to save energy by drafting off each other.  She laughed at the simplicity of it all. By sharing the responsibility of leading and picking up the slack, the birds had devised the perfect way to share the burden of flying amongst themselves.  Nature held so many fascinations for her, but perhaps it was the lessons that it generously taught her that made it all the more important.

Leadership is among the key things that determine the success of your organization.  Sure, you have a great team of X in place but do their experience and capabilities get translated into success for the company? How many of your employees are happy and engaged at your organization? How many of them would jump at the chance of attaining greener pastures? If your team leader leaves tomorrow, who is going to help the team seamlessly transition?

These are questions that often get sidestepped or discounted when one considers the growth of an organization.  Frequently, success gets measured in currency and the home ground gets little attention. Do you think your organization is capable of producing leaders? The answer to this lies in your employee retention/attrition statistics.  Unless an employee feels their career aspirations are met at your organization, they would not have an incentive to stay. In fact, poor retention rates reflect your inability to cater to the potential of your employees rather than the fickle mindedness of your employees themselves.  Nurturing leadership in your organization is the assured way of making your workplace more stable and bringing out the best in each of your employees. The question then is, how to go about this?

Do what has to be done in the best way possible

One cannot be a leader through words alone.  Demonstrating success through your actions illustrates tried and tested ways of accomplishing a particular project.  Your employees learn from your actions both what to do and what not to. Being a bystander also gives them the objectivity to spot problems in your usual MOA and address them when it’s their turn.

Openly believe in their potential

With the right environment and nurturing, any employee can be coaxed to attain the maximum of their potential.  The begetting of leaders begins with the belief that you are among leaders. However, for them to come into their own, they have to know that you believe in them.  A little faith can be wonderful to the self-esteem of your employees.

Hold them accountable, but do not loom over them!

It is hard not to micromanage your team members, especially if they are new to the organization.  However, trust is built when you hold them accountable for their action and work without casting an overly concerned shadow on them.  Micromanaging kills any seed of trust that could be nurtured. It is a trait to be abhorred in all instances. 

Safe is always not the best bet

While you might have had decades of experience handling particular aspects of your organization, it does not take away the right of your employees to innovate and find their own paths.  Be open to new ideas. Give your employees the space to express them. You will be surprised at the alacrity with which success blooms in your organization.

Nurturing leaders in your organization is not a difficult task to undertake: The difficulty, if at all, comes from your inability to believe in the potential of others. Provide the space for them to express and grow, and success would come knocking at your door.  Tomorrow, if your team leader is to leave, be assured there will be two others who could take over seamlessly. All you need is a pinch of faith, the right nudge here and there, and the rest will quietly fall into place.


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