Magazine article Business Credit

Unleash Your Team's True Leadership Potential. (Credit Column)

Magazine article Business Credit

Unleash Your Team's True Leadership Potential. (Credit Column)

Article excerpt

What has the strongest impact on your company's success? The economy? The market conditions? Current events? In reality, it's none of those things. Regardless of outside factors, your company will only be as successful as you allow your employees to be. The fact is that when you inhibit your employees' natural abilities, your company profits are sure to drop. However, when you encourage your employees' personal development, your revenues will soar.

Today's most successful companies didn't attain that status by accident. Rather, their visionary leaders had the ability to tap into their team's talents so that their employees could lead the company in the right direction. Unfortunately, many business owners are afraid to let their employees exhibit control. They don't trust their employees to make the right decisions, and they mistakenly believe that leading a company is a solitary venture. However, when you enable your employees to discover their strengths and then encourage them to use their natural capabilities most effectively, you breed a team of leaders who each contribute meaningfully to the company's ultimate success.

To get your company operating at its maximum potential, it's essential that you promote an essence of leadership at every departmental level. The following suggestions will guide you through this process.

Connect rather than correct

Look around your organization and you're sure to find that your employees are doing some amazing things. Whether they're securing new client relationships, creating new procedures that save both time and money or raising the bar for customer service, your employees are working hard to make a positive contribution to your company's bottom line. The question is, how often do you acknowledge your teammates for doing such tasks?

Very often, supervisors focus only on aspects where their employees need to improve. Instead of acknowledging all the things their employees do to attract more customers, save money and increase customer retention, they focus on the sales deficiency, the decline in profits and the customer attrition rare. While knowing the gaps is indeed important, focusing solely on the negative is not the way to encourage employee leadership.

To foster a team of leaders, create systems that acknowledge your team's accomplishments. This does not necessarily have to be a big celebratory event; even the smallest gesture makes a big impression on your team's morale and willingness to contribute. For example, you could post sales figures or new customer contracts on the department bulletin board, organize a company luncheon, or even offer a simple "good job" the next time you talk with your employees. When you connect with your team and get them excited about work and about what they can accomplish, they'll go above and beyond your expectations to demonstrate the kind of leadership initiative that makes a positive contribution to the organization's goals.

Create a goal rather than assign a task

Do you know at which activities each employee on your team excels? Most supervisors do not. Despite this lack of knowledge, though, the majority of managers continue to assign tasks to their employees without any regard to the person's ability or interest. While it's true that there are certain tasks and procedures each employee must perform for the company to be successful, it's equally important that your employees are taking on responsibilities that excite them and give them a sense of purpose. …

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