Companies thrive when their employees can take responsibility for their actions and understand that they have a direct impact on the success of the business. However, some employees may lack the skills needed to become leaders, while others may lack the confidence or a sense of support from employers.
Empowering your people to become leaders starts with you. As a guide, the 12 members of the Young Entrepreneurs Council offer advice on how you can develop a culture of leadership in your workplace and empower your employees to do their best for themselves and the company.
Q: How can a business leader help their employees become leaders? Why is it important?
1. Let them make mistakes and solve problems
Trust them enough to make your own mistakes. Just because you can step in to fix a problem doesn’t mean you should. I have seen before how distrust is disguised as perfectionism. It’s important to see perfectionism for what it is: worrying about results. Once you ease your concerns about the outcome, your employees will feel trusted and empowered to take action. – Caitlin Whitman, Rainfactory
2. Delegation of responsibility and authority
Don’t accumulate power and responsibility. As team members build trust, reward them with additional authority to make decisions, mentor new hires, and build teams within the team. In other words, encourage internal entrepreneurship. Trusted team members should be able to lead and initiate projects on their own with minimal supervision from the executive team. – Tyler Gallagher, Regal Assets
3. Invite them to participate in creating new networks.
Ultimately, strong leadership comes down to communication. Many employees lack the interpersonal skills to succeed in leadership roles. This is why I encourage employees to communicate as much as possible at industry conferences and events. Human skills are almost impossible to learn except through practice. Many employees have never been given the opportunity to communicate in a professional environment. – Mark Stallings, Casely, Inc.
4. Give them the opportunity to educate themselves and others.
Give your employees the opportunity to develop their own training and professional development plans. As you grow and educate others – and create structures to do so most effectively – employees will inevitably be forced to reflect on their own development, and in the process, they are more likely to become the leaders they want to be. – Lindsay Tenn, LogicPrep
5. Lead by example
Lead your vision and action. Nobody likes dreams without a plan. Show your team that your dream is alive by working on it every day. Let them know that they are part of your dream and that nothing will work without them. This fosters a culture of support that encourages them to work not only for themselves but also for the people around them. – Solomon Timothy, OneIMS
6. Encourage them to take initiative
Give your subordinates more autonomy. Focus more on letting them take responsibility and commitments, and less on your own value-adding needs. Also, try to create a supportive environment in which new ideas are welcomed and people can expand their skill set. This will encourage employees to take the initiative and maximize their potential. – Brian Pallas, Opportunity Network
7. Get them out of their comfort zone.
Let them work outside of their comfort zone. Encourage them to complete tasks that are likely to be intimidating or unfamiliar. Let them see their other side and appreciate the process of discovering new things about themselves. Empowered leaders empower others. A grateful employee becomes a functional leader who, in turn, becomes loyal and copies your great example. – Daisy Jing, Exile
8. Give up micromanagement
Give your employees the freedom to create innovative ideas or processes on their own. Micromanagement only demoralizes, limits creativity, and frustrates workers, which is the opposite of nurturing leaders. In my business, we avoid micromanaging by using a rigorous hiring process. Because we have confidence in our hiring decisions, we trust our employees to be their own leaders. – Shu Saito, All Filters
9. Offer regular mentoring sessions.
We run quarterly mentoring sessions for our team members to help them improve their skills and identify areas for improvement. Over time, this approach allows us to give our people the knowledge and confidence they need to thrive in our industry. – Chris Kristoff, MonsterInsights
10. Let them work with the news.
A leader can empower his employees by giving them more opportunities that they would not otherwise have access to. It says a lot when you take the time to acknowledge your team’s successes and reward them by giving them new challenges and projects that improve their skills and knowledge. This gives them the opportunity to excel in the company and expand their roles. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
11. Implement employee suggestions.
Listen to suggestions from employees and then explain why they are suitable or not. Most importantly, allow employees to implement sound proposals and assign them leadership roles where possible. People want to be heard and know that good offers will be appreciated. – Zane Stevens, Protea Financial
12. Give them access to the tools they need
If you want to turn your team members into leaders, you must provide them with the resources they need to grow. We provide our team with lifetime access to our tools while they work in our company. I believe that the understanding and experience they gain from having access to the right tools helps to advance their success as leaders. – John Turner, LLC “SidProd”
These responses are provided by the Young Entrepreneurs Council (YEC), an organization of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs, by invitation only. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and create tens of thousands of jobs. Find out more at yec.co…