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Nurturing Leadership

13 December 2017

Arti Dhere

Competing at the highest level is not about winning. It’s about preparation, courage, understanding and nurturing your people and heart. Winning is the result. — Joe Torre

Some people would say that the best asset in every company is made up of its employees. (Of course, that is even truer when the company actually hires the right people.) However, hiring the right people is just one part of the process; molding and bringing out the best in them is another thing.

An addition to getting the best people, every company should also incorporate activities that can bring out their best qualities. This is not just about ensuring that they can fulfill their roles well; it is also about making sure that the company will be in good hands in the future.

To successfully nurture leaders in your company (or any other organization), here are five recommendations.

1. Cultivate relationships.

Recognizing a potential is already a given talent for most employers like you, but it is impossible to draw out that potential if you are not willing to spend time with the person in question. That’s why spending time with a potential leader from your company is one of the most important things to consider.

You need to cultivate the relationship to know how best to work with that person. This does more than bring out their confidence; it also allows you to sync your mission and vision for the company, and work on a common goal together.

2. Give your employees a sense of responsibility and accountability.

Leadership is basically accountability in a greater sense. If you cannot hold your employees accountable for all work (whether good or bad) they do, then how can you expect them to lead? Great leaders are not just good at what they do; they are also willing to accept the fall when things don’t work out as planned.

It is important, however, to emphasize that responsibility and accountability are not things to be afraid of, but rather that there is always an infinite opportunity for improvement. This is a crucial point, because you don’t want your employees to be afraid to the point that they are hesitant to try out new ideas for fear of repercussions.

3. Emphasize collaboration and teamwork.

A leader is nothing without the team. To nurture potential leaders in your company fully, you should assess how well they do when it comes to collaboration and teamwork. You must also observe what their attitude toward teamwork is. Do they have the right sense of initiative? Do they have a tendency to become insubordinate? Are they good and diligent followers? You can make many other similar observations.

4. Encourage new ideas and systems.

A leader knows how to detect and solve problems, not create them. So as an employer, it is your duty to encourage an environment that is open to new ideas and innovations that could be pitched by any employee. This can include insights about your products and services, how you do things at the office, how you conduct customer service, and the like.

5. Assess how an employee motivates coworkers.

Every leader should know how to bring out the best (and not the worst) from their people. You can see a glimpse of an employee’s leadership style by the way they motivate and treat their coworkers. Do they actually help solve the problem, or do they merely point a blaming finger at someone else? Do they offer comforting words or utter threats of punishment? You will find a potentially good leader when they actually embrace a sense of teamwork with coworkers who are in hard times. They also know how to draw out positive emotions instead of fear, desperation, and anger.

Most of all, nurturing great leaders in your company should be done by example. So yes, you should start with yourself. Your employees most likely see how you do things around the company, and they see you as a role model. Setting a noble example will lead them toward that path.

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

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