The Undiscovered Leaders Within

February 27, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

Here’s a question, I’m sure as a leader, you’re asked quite often. “How productive are you as a leader?” Now, you might answer t by saying, “I’m very productive. I have an agenda with tasks to complete and I tell my workers to get it done and it gets done.” Yes, getting tasks done within a prescribed time is productive, but this is not what I mean about how productive you are as a leader. What I’m driving at is how productive are you when it comes to growing your organization, more specifically the growth of your personnel into future leaders?

Growing your personnel is vital in today’s business world. Here’s what I mean. Almost every day our organizations are experiencing some kind of change. In his book, Managing at the Speed of Change, Author Daryl R. Conner points out this realization by writing “In the workplace we are also confronted with massive change – ever – advancing technologies, mergers, acquisitions, rightsizing, new policies and procedures, reorganizations, and constantly shifting duties and reporting responsibilities.” Gone are the days when a single leader is able to efficiently operate the a business by handing out assignments and expecting them to be completed in the required time frame and still be everyone’s counselor, mentor, and problem solver creating a vision for the future. It’s just not going to happen in today’s business world.

The key to ensure a business’s survival is with its personnel, stagnate their growth and watch your business die a slow death. A great leader knows and accepts that he or she is not and cannot be the organizations sole source of survival. Having a big ego is not an option for a great leader who is responsible for engaging others intellectually and emotionally. Knowing they don’t have all the answers, they take the proper steps to ensure the organization survives generation after generation through proper growth training.

I am amazed, almost on a daily basis, at the lack of training. And I am amazed at the two most-cited reasons for this lack of training: “We don’t have the money or the time to put our personnel through proper growth training.” True, funds can be an issue if you are looking into big training seminars, but there are a myriad of alternatives for leaders to explore instead of sending someone through an expensive program. And time? Last time I checked we all have 24 hours in a day. I never knew of anyone getting only 20 hours, you get the point.

So where does a leader begin? What can a leader do to grow their personnel? Here are a few simple suggestions that will help you begin the process of growth within your organization. Begin with mentorship. Mentoring is one of the greatest tools a leader can possess. And believe it or not, it doesn’t cost a dime. Mentoring provides an opportunity for the leader to pass on the skills necessary to lead others. Mentoring builds trust, builds rapport and more importantly, builds confidence in personnel to accept greater responsibility. Mentorship leads to empowerment of your personnel. Empowerment helps eliminate micro-managing of personnel. Empowerment allows personnel to make mistakes and learn from them on their own. Another great growth opportunity and a relatively inexpensive training method is a “book of the month club.” There are many leadership, management and self-help books to choose from. Simply choose a training book and meet once a month for in-depth discussions.

By combining mentorship, empowerment and monthly leadership book meetings, a leader has the beginning tools to ensure the continued success of an organization and the success of growth for their personnel. Author John Maxwell in his book, “Developing the Leader Within You,” (a great training resource for developing leaders,) includes a quote by the legendary steel tycoon and philanthropist Dale Carnegie, “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or to get all the credit doing it.” And as I mentioned earlier, no leader is capable of handling all duties and responsibilities and still be efficient.

If you as a leader are committed to the growth of your personnel and respect them as valuable members, your organization and business will not only survive but prosper even through the toughest times. Your lack of attention in this area only ensures that you will be wasting valuable time putting out fires instead of preventing them.

My expertise consists of a degree in business management, over 20 years of corporate managerial experience, and an entire adult life of community volunteerism and leadership. I started my part time business Kenny A. Enterprises in July of 2010 for the sole purpose of helping others to become better than who they already are so they can show others how to do the same. I do not claim to know everything, in fact I give 100% of myself to life long learning. What I do claim is that knowledge will always be there for me to receive if I choose to seek it and that is why I believe that the journey will always be the reward. My involvement began in leadership training more than 3 years ago with teens and young adults to teach as well as coach leadership and team building training for local high schools and colleges as well as for different non-profit organizations. My Business was also established and designed to support business-minded individuals with communication skills that are necessary to produce great leadership. My business offers a leadership/management and team building curriculum for both personnel and management in both the profit and non-profit business world, as well as programs for high school students and young adults.

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