“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.” ― Jim Rohn
Consider this: enterprises with the highest quality leaders were 13 times more likely to outpace their competition in areas such as financial performance, product quality, customer service and employee commitment to their work, and overall customer satisfaction.
If you want your company to excel in these areas and experience exponential growth, apply these 10 tips to help cultivate leaders within your organization.
1. Look at the data.
For more than a century, employers have used assessments such as IQ tests, skills aptitude tests, and even physical exams to determine who to put in leadership positions within their company.
Today, there a number of data sources we can use to identify and then hire the right employees for our business and to that end, give us a solid clue as to how long they’ll remain at the company.
There are many companies now that use data to determine the best talent.top talent. Two of the best companies that provide solid indicators of future leadership potential are Predictable Success and the Ennegram Test.
You should have all of your employees take the test as not everyone can become a leader the same way and not everyone wants to be - or can be - a leader within your organization. In that every personality is different, using tests like this will help you hone in on the different types of leaders you have within your ranks.
2. Start early.
As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, it’s important to quantify the leadership capabilities of your team members early. While the tests I recommended should be used to identify certain leadership skill sets, you can also determine which employees have what it takes for certain jobs by putting them in leadership positions for certain tasks or activities to see how they handle their leadership roles and responsibilities.
Fred Smith, founder and CEO of FedEx says this about the process of grooming leaders: "Our Leadership Evaluation and Awareness Program explains the demands of management as well as the personal characteristics and traits needed for successful leadership. I find it interesting that, once they know the demands and requirements, some 70 percent of the participants drop out of the program."
The earlier you find out who the leaders are and what they can do, the sooner you can start putting people in the position to excel and strengthen your company from the top down and bottom up.
3. Educate and train employees.
As the founder and Co-CEO of a training and coaching organization, I know how crucial it is to constantly provide your employees and team members with the education and training they need to become a leader. There are an endless number of webinars, conferences, on-line classes, books and seminars to help them refine their leadership skills.
4. Give your employees challenges.
Putting people in unfamiliar and uncomfortable positions by assigning them new tasks gives you the opportunity to challenge your employees to see how they handle themselves.
Doing this allows you to push them and test their skill levels: Give employees a chance to challenge themselves by assigning them unfamiliar tasks. It’s an effective way to push them and test their skill levels.
The Wall Street Journal shared that it’s okay if they fail since these types of experiences “offers valuable lessons that can add new skills, improve confidence, and solidify employee commitment.”
These opportunities may be sink or swim opportunities. At the same time, you’ll be able to see if the task you assigned them is above their skill level or if they’ll make the commitment to do what it takes to learn the new skill.
5. Give them access to current leaders.
One of the best training strategies you can employ as a company owner is shadowing.
By letting your employees shadow you and other leaders within your organization, you give them a front-row seat to the skills, approaches, attitudes and other elements required to hold a leadership role within your company.
This strategy helps accelerate the learning process because your younger leaders can model what your senior leaders are doing and internalize the skills necessary to be a great leaders in a significantly shorter period of time.
Even informal guidance and exposure to the leaders on your team can help broaden people’s horizons and get them excited about the work they do.
6. Show them how to network.
Networking is a key ingredient for everyone in a leadership position.
Harvard Business Review (HBR) contributors, Professors Herminia Ibarra and Mark Hunter shared their take on the positive impact of operational, personal and strategic networking on grooming leaders. They discovered that top managers were able to identify those individuals within their organization who best able to aid them in working on, and completing, their project.
You need to encourage your team members to improve their networking skills through training or by having them reach out to people inside, and outside of, your organization to build relationships.
7. Cross train your employees.
One the best things I ever did was to cross train my employees on other positions within my organization.
My transaction coordinator and listing coordinator were both able to do each other’s jobs. Not only was this important in case someone got sick or left, but also because it put these people in position to train and lead others to take over for them as the ascended within my company.
In addition to that, employee cross training has become an incredible way to engage, motivate and work with different team members. People don’t feel “pigeonholed” in their current position and have the ability spread their wings beyond the boundaries that they experience in their job.
is helpful because, "It helps employees spread their wings and extend their boundaries."
8. Support your employees.
The second part of putting your employees in challenging positions to grow is making sure that you give them ample support during these times.
You can do this by encouraging them yourself or putting someone else in charge of supporting them. Consistent and frequent evaluations with the proper feedback will go a long way in making sure your employees and team members feel supported.
9. Help them be passionate.
As a leader, it’s your job to inspire people. Not only that, but it’s your job to inspire people to become leaders.
One of the ways to do that is to be passionate yourself about what you do. The more passion you have about what you do and how it impacts people, the better job you can do in inspiring others to become leaders.
The people you lead will take a small amount of your passion and it will grow within them. When you take the time to develop passion in your employees, you will help them become the biggest factors in the success of your business.
Give your employees space to be creative, encourage them to work on additional projects outside of work and when appropriate, conduct employee surveys to see which employees are authentic and the true leaders and future leaders of your company.
10. Give them some power.
At some point in the process, you need to transfer some power to the people you’re grooming to see how they’ll do in making decisions. It’s likely best not to go “whole hog” on giving them power. Rather, put them into positions where they can make important decisions, but where failure won’t be fatal to them or your business.
Avery Augustine of The Muse shared this: “I learned this first hand when I was put in charge of a client event while my boss was out of town and completely out of touch. With no one else to lean on, I was forced to make decisions on my own, no matter how unsure I was. Eventually, I became more and more confident in making decisions solo (even if it took a couple slip-ups -- a.k.a. “learning experiences” -- to solidify that skill.)”
Sometimes, the best way to learn is to be put situations and then be required how to figure them out yourself.
Tony Robbins says that the mark of a true leader is not how many followers he has, but how many leaders he creates.
If you’re wanting to build a strong real estate organization that grows exponentially, you’re going to need to cultivate leaders from within your company.
Follow the tips I’ve laid out here and you should be well on your way building a strong business with solid leadership.