What is a leader? A leader is someone that leads others to achieve their goals and the goals of the organization. So how do we develop the leaders?
First we want to make sure we pick the right candidates and sometimes this is a difficult task. We have a tendency to choose leaders from those individuals that are excelling at a particular job. You might say “Well, Holly, that’s pretty logical, why wouldn’t you choose your leaders from your top performers?” …and you would. Typically your high achievers or over achievers are going to be great leaders for your company, the goal is to train them to be the leaders you want them to be.
There are two situations to be aware of:
- Starting All Over!
- Building a Different Type of Relationship!
Starting All Over!
Over-Achievers have met their goals and exceeded them. This means they are at the top of their game in their current position. Now they will be learning something brand new. They may become a manager over the area they excelled in, but that does not mean they know how to manage this area. You must help your new leader understand that it’s “ok”. There are 4 learning stages they will go through before they can resume the over-achiever level:
- They will be excited about their new position and jump in enthusiastically. They will do and push and do and push before they really know what they are “doing and pushing” for! This is known as the enthusiastic beginner.
- The next step is they get pushed down a few times and have a few losses and soon find this game is not as fun and easy as they thought it would be. This is where you are going to lose those individuals that were not trained correctly and were not prepared for the potential of failure. They need to be reassured that it’s ok and they will improve with further mentoring.
- The third step is when they begin to get a little air under their wings and have a few more successes. They are still not quite sure about the situation, but at least they are seeing more wins than losses at this point.
- Lastly – they are back up to speed in their comfort zone as an over achiever. The sooner you help your leaders with these steps, the faster the process will and the bigger the success!
Building a Different Type of Relationship!
If your new leader is leading their once upon a time peers, the transition can be a rough one.
Have your new leader provide to you a status of their current relationships with each staff member. Do not just throw your new leader to the wolves, let’s make sure everyone is prepared. Provide to your new leader the tools to set strategic goals. Have your new leader evaluate each staff member and set three goals for each of his/her staff members prior to beginning the new position. These goals in turn will be used with each staff member in coaching sessions to help the staff members begin to build trust and help the leader gain credibility. This strategy takes away petty gossip and replaces it with solid goals and a trust that the leader will always listen and work with them through coaching sessions.
New leaders need direction and continual coaching until they know what success is. Provide to them the structure to build their own goals. At the same time write down what you believe their goals should be. Have a coaching session with your new leader and come together on the goals and the timelines. Follow through and specific goals along with great coaching sessions are the receipt to success.