One of the best signs of a good leader is how well they can effectively train new leaders within their organization, as well as how well they develop the leaders they already have on the team.
Most companies say they have a training and development program, but how often are those protocols measured, and what happens if they’re found lacking? These are questions all young CEOs must answer if they want to build a team that can lead in today’s fast-moving, quick-changing marketplace.
Step one in this process is an honest assessment of your own strengths and weaknesses. If you only “think” or “assume” what these are, then you’re shortchanging yourself and denying your people a powerful resource. Conversely, if you understand not only who you are but also what you are good at … and what you are not … you can take the best action to highlight those strengths and mitigate those weaknesses. It might take some training and change on your part, and it might take bringing on people that can fill your gaps.
The principle here is simple. You need to work on yourself as you are working on your team. The more all of you grow, the greater your individual and collective capacity to succeed.
Talk with your leaders about your choices, about your successes and your failures. Share your earned insight with them, and let them see your decision-making processes in action. Create opportunities for them to ask questions and gain wisdom. Don’t leave your door closed to them… Remember, the better your people are at leading, the more you can focus on your core responsibilities: growing the company.
An added benefit of this level of transparency is to set an expectation and a standard that you can invite your people to follow. When they see your willingness to be open and honest, then you create opportunities for them to be genuine as well. This engenders a truly open line of communication that functions more like an ongoing conversation about how all of you can work better to get more.
It’s very important here to set standards, though. Otherwise, you could risk creating a precedent for oversharing, or, worse verbal abuse of those beneath them. It sounds extreme when you say it that way, but some people really do need to be told how much “sharing” is appropriate, and what topics should be avoided. The best way to do this is to model proper behavior. And, when the times comes to do performance reviews, for example, have a defined series of metrics with which to measure success. Let that lead the conversation.
Remember, the goal is the positive development of the team, so all of you can get more done and enjoy more success together. This begins and ends with how you choose to develop relationships and the standards you set as the leader.