When a Business Owner has the necessary Systems and Processes built to drive efficiency in their Business, there’s one more task to fulfil before they can step back.
Deciding how to, select, train and develop a team yourself is one challenge. However, these elements can at least be mapped out theoretically and worked to a timeline. Selecting a Leadership Team or Individual to keep team members engaged, motivated and happy is an entirely different mountain to climb!
So, why is it that there seems to be so few examples in the practice of fine leadership?
True Leadership qualities require a degree of selflessness and contribution almost in-congruent with the skill-set that gets the leader into the position in the first place. Leadership has very little to do with the technical expertise of a company or role and everything to do with the personal dynamics and behaviour of the team involved, (the best Salesperson may be the very last person to put in charge of the Sales Team and a great technician rarely has the tolerance required for the training and development of a Junior Tech… you get the drift)
So, what ARE the qualities to look for and how do you know you have a future leader in your organisation?
One of the earliest signs of leadership is the ability for someone to admit they’re wrong and set about fixing the situation they created. Taking responsibility for addressing something, particularly if it wasn't their challenge in the first place, displays a person’s true character – they would rather see the problem addressed by setting an example than pointing fingers at someone or something else.
A great hallmark of a future leader, true accountability comes with accepting and meeting the challenge on behalf of a group of people as well as themselves. Accountability is present in individuals who are able to see past their own needs and talents and foster the abilities of the team around them. They do it naturally and share the credit when it arrives as well.
The Team Member who takes charge of a situation, regardless of whether it’s their role to do so, always signals a possible leader in the organisation. Sure, they’re a solid performer and it’s important for them to be consistent at their personal role. However, when they regularly volunteer their support to other parts of the company and are willing to take on projects outside their field of expertise, they are displaying their ability to be challenged and a desire to lead others in doing the same.
Great leaders know how and when to articulate their ideas in a passionate and simple fashion. They also possess an ability to draw ideas and enrolment from others because they listen as well as they talk. When you have a team member that can speak about their ideas clearly and concisely on short notice and can inspire others to do the same, you have a good communicator on your hands.
Babies cry for it and men will die for it … Recognition! You have to look a little deeper to find this quality and you'll usually need to have a culture and forum that allows people to do this regularly, so if that is yet to be built – there’s a first step! The simple rule is that Leaders prefer Praise versus Perfection. They spot people doing the right things and make sure they are recognised for it.