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5 Steps to Developing Good Leadership That Sticks

Jul 24, 2014

As a CEO or business owner, how do you develop a leadership group that lives for your company and its values while inspiring loyalty from the workforce? Creating the right leadership takes the right frame of mind, and it requires proactive work.

CEOs need leaders in their organizations to achieve the goals and objectives of the business in order for it reach its greatest potential. Not all CEOs are naturally great, or even good, leaders. How, then, does the chief of a company develop great leadership, for himself or herself and across the organization?

You probably have heard the saying "It's lonely at the top." If that is how you feel, then you need to step back and ask why you haven't brought your leadership team along with you.

If you're feeling lonely, you haven't invested in or trained your managers and your people to allow them to walk alongside you; your team, instead, is walking behind you. Your arms weren't stretched out and wide to embrace others and challenge them to try new things and out-of -the-box solutions, and you weren't framing the guidelines with which they can gamble.

Creating the Right Leadership

Leadership is not a passive environment. It is an active one.

Good and bad leadership is observed and mimicked, with your team acting upon what they see from you. As a leader, if you are guarded or have an attitude of scarcity versus abundance, then you will create the same type of leader among your people. If you let your team consistently achieve a 5 on a scale of 10, then your team will seldom surpass the 5.

However, if you empower team members and bring them alongside you, believing in them and creating a synergy where you learn from them and grow yourself, your team's members will become desirable leaders.

So what is leadership, and how is it defined? We should first define what it isn't: Leadership isn't about position, titles, or management styles. Legendary management consultant Peter Drucker defined leadership as "someone who has followers." Warren Bennis says it's the "capacity to translate vision into reality." Bill Gates defines leaders as "those who empower."

Whatever definition you use for your own leadership, it must first be defined. Without a definition, you can't begin the leadership process.  Once you have defined your leadership, here are five steps to develop the leadership and leaders you desire for your organization:

1. Investigate

Analyze the characteristics of what you find valuable in a leader. What are you looking for? Character, integrity, empowerment, ability to delegate, communication, confidence, and commitment are some admirable traits. Positive attitude and intuition are others, and the list goes on.

2. Identify 

Describe each characteristic. For example, what does integrity mean? Does taking a pencil from work and using it at home qualify as hurting integrity with office supplies? Almost all of my clients define integrity, and the guidelines they allow, differently.

3. Search

Initiate a search to find the best leaders in your organization. They won't all be near the top; in fact, they will come from all parts of the organization and at all levels. Remember, leadership doesn't have titles.

4. Invest

Invest in your leaders. Opportunities may include training, empowerment, encouragement, and, often most important, time with you simply. You may find that you will become a better leader through the process.

5. Implement

Implement what they are learning and telling you. Let them try and fail. Encourage and empower them to invest in others. The power of leadership is reproduction: leaders producing more leaders becomes an unstoppable force throughout the organization.

It's been said that more books have been written about leadership than ever before, yet what is lacking in most organizations is quality leadership. Leaders don't just happen; they are developed, and that is an active activity that will require time, energy, and effort from any CEO or business owner. The payoff is that good leadership will empower the organization to be all that it can be.

Are you up to the challenge?

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ADDITIONAL READING: Paradoxical Thinking That Prevents Success 

Janna Hoiber 2Janna Hoiberg is a seasoned and credentialed coach highly respected by her business-owner and executive clients interested in leadership development, business growth, and corporate executive coaching. She has the ability to translate the skills, knowledge, and expertise - acquired through 30 years of managing and operating successful businesses - into strategies that effectively make a difference in sales, marketing, management, team building, time allocation, and more. As an author, keynote speaker, and workshop facilitator, Janna shares her real-life experiences from her past and from within the business world. Her latest book, The Family Business:  How to be in Business with People you Love, Without Hating Them, represents her 30 years of working in and coaching family businesses. Janna can be reached or (719) 358-6936.