As with any other priority you want to establish within your organization (like valuing people or inspiring initiative), if you want to support your own efforts and those of your employees to become good leaders, you have to build a culture that promotes good leadership. Following are some guidelines for fostering a culture of strong leadership in your organization:
• Hire or promote your leaders well. Make sure your leaders want to be leaders and have the right personalities for the role.
• Focus on leadership skills during development sessions.
• Model inspirational leader behavior, skills, and attitude.
• Inspire collaboration and communication among leaders.
• Explore leadership issues as the root cause of under-performing teams.
• Focus on leadership skills during performance appraisals.
• Walk the talk on feelings and authentic leadership.
• Model passion and enthusiasm while minding your mood.
• Encourage your leaders to add value to their peers, praising their strengths and acknowledging their accomplishments.
“A clear focus on people engagement, and in this case leader development, is the best way to change the environment and performance of your organization or team.”
Employee development and self-development are the two most important jobs of any leader. Almost every leader can improve his success and the success of his team by developing his core leadership skills, which will also improve the morale, motivation, and retention of all team members. Core leadership skills include the following:
• Creating employee development plans
• Enhancing team morale
• Providing a motivating environment
• Having employee career conversations
• Setting goals and meeting them
• Performance management
Provide training in core skills for any leaders who report to you, and seek out training for yourself, particularly in any potential growth area.
Holding regular leadership meetings with leaders on your team creates the opportunity to focus on specific events that affect retention. For example, the loss of a valuable employee could be discussed in terms of how it could have been prevented by the leaders involved. If you are going to hold these meetings, be honest and dig deep and wide. It’s the only way they will help grow the skills of leaders.