Inspire your team to become great leaders
It’s a common misconception that leaders are born, not made. But most of the world’s great leaders learned how to lead through simple trial and error. Bill Gates’ first company went under, as did Walt Disney’s. Henry Ford’s first two car companies failed. Several of Richard Branson’s Virgin branded companies went nowhere. These were all learning experiences – not only about business operations and growth, but about how to be a leader and how to teach leadership skills to others.
Leadership is about self-awareness, personal growth and development. Steve Jobs had to learn to let go of some control and, in return, Apple became famous for its innovation. Walt Disney had a team of over 700 artists to manage, and had to master the art of communicating his vision, but letting others do the work.
Make no mistake – leadership can be taught. But how do you teach leadership? It’s a process of self-discovery and a combination of hard and soft skill sets that amplify strengths and improve weaknesses – and it begins with you. Here are 7 tips to get your started.
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1. Be a great leader
Can you teach leadership? Only if you’re a great leader yourself – because the best way to teach leadership is by inspiring your employees. And you can’t inspire them if you don’t “live leadership” in every aspect of your life. Find your leadership style. Focus on your strengths but develop your weaknesses. Master your relationships. Most of all, find your purpose and your passion. When you live with passion, you’ll encourage others to do the same.
2. Inspire your employees
Determining what encourages your employees is one of the most vital factors not only in how to teach leadership but also in management. And you might be surprised to learn it’s not money. Once workers make enough to fulfill basic needs, they’re more stimulated by autonomy, mastery and purpose in the workplace. That is, your employees want to feel trusted, be confident in their skills and in the tools they have to do their jobs and have a sense of purpose. Leadership can fulfill all of these needs – and they all start with your culture.
3. Build an open culture
Company culture is the single most important driver of your business. It plays a role in your brand identity, which helps you create raving fan customers. It’s a vital part of your company values, and strong values will give you the foundation for how to teach leadership skills. In order to teach leadership, you need a company culture that is open, honest and innovative.
An open and honest culture facilitates communication – you cannot address questions and issues if you don’t know what they are. And an innovative culture leaves room for new ideas, making employees feel heard and respected.
4. Challenge your employees
Practice makes perfect. Bring out the leader in your employees by challenging them with new assignments, important projects or big accounts. You’ll unleash their inner leader and encourage them to rise to the challenge. You can even set up a system to rotate your employees through different roles at your company. This will help you determine who has the most potential and create a culture of learning and innovation, all while your employees are building the skills they need to lead.
5. Earn their trust
How do you teach leadership? It starts with building trust in the workplace. One-on-one coaching is an essential part of teaching leadership. You won’t be able to advise your employees if they don’t trust you enough to come to you with questions. Great teachers celebrate successes and turn failures into lessons learned. They advise, but don’t dictate. They are seen as mentors and coaches, but not as friends. Done right, it can be one of the most rewarding relationships you’ll build.
6. Focus on soft skills
Leadership isn’t just about delegating tasks or making big decisions. It’s not just about training your employees on certain programs or providing them with professional development opportunities – although these things are also important. Great leaders are great communicators. They’re great relationship builders and they work well in teams. They know how to influence others. These are all soft skills, and they’re just as essential to problem solving, earning your clients’ trust, making sales and more. Ensure you’re just as focused on these as you are on hard skills.
7. Get help
If you’re still stuck on how to teach leadership skills, don’t be afraid to ask for help. One of the critical skills of a good leader is resourcefulness. It will help you make better use of your time, leverage the skills you already have and realize when to ask for help.
Taking your employees on a team-building trip or enrolling them in a course could be just what you need to kick-start leadership. Tony Robbins’ Business Results Training is an ideal option for teams to maximize their skills, become more productive and improve their communication. As Tony says, “Leaders spend 5% of their time on the problem and 95% of their time on the solution. Get over it and crush it!” It’s time to get out there and develop the leaders on your team.