It’s been said countless times that a company’s greatest assets are its own employees. As someone who has grown with the same organization for the past 11 years, I’ve had the valuable experience of working closely with our CEO to develop my own leadership capabilities, as well as helping identify key leaders within our organization. Now, as president of MyITPros, building future leaders from within has become one of my top priorities.
Identify Flaws – Then Look Beyond Them
When I first started working at MyITPros, I was very immature in terms of my career and leadership skills. Kudos to my CEO for being able to see through that and identify potential I may not have seen within myself. Once I said I wanted to get involved and become a leader and help figure out the business, our CEO started bringing me into weekly one-to-one meetings.
You may notice an employee who has some leadership potential or expresses an interest in taking on that role in the future, but they may have flaws in terms of maturity or other skills. You need to be able to look past the flaws and assess their current skill set, both strengths and weaknesses, and then make the decision to invest in and believe in them. Once you do that, you can make a game plan for helping them mature and grow in to the type of leader you want to see.
Seek Out Natural People Skills
One of the biggest challenges we’ve had in terms of leadership has to do with people, and the ability to lead them. You may have great management skills, but that doesn’t mean you can effectively lead others. In fact, it’s a low percentage of people who naturally have the people skill trifecta: the ability to lead, manage and coach others. However, pay attention to the employees who are comfortable handling conflict resolution, hold others and themselves accountable, and who generally communicate well. These are the employees who, with a bit of nurturing to fine tune their skill set, have the potential to become extremely effective leaders.
Value a Personality Balance
Everyone has their own style-communication style, conflict resolution style, and/or management style. It’s important that you are not afraid to work with someone whose style may be really different from yours. Different does not mean wrong, in fact, you’ll find that leaders who may be different from you can actually be a huge asset. The key is find ways to work together and use those differences to be strengths to one another.
Time Equals Replication
When I started my journey with MyITpros, my CEO and I weren’t working off the same page. We had two very different visions for the company and how to get there. Our CEO made the decision to invest time in me, and we’ve spent years carefully cultivating our relationship in order to share the same vision and goals. The more time you spend with your employees, the more you can replicate the needed skills in them and help grow them in to the type of leader that can handle the job. The effectiveness of your leaders is a direct correlation to the amount of time you spend with them replicating your leadership skills.