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One of the most admirable qualities of good leaders is their commitment to developing their colleagues’ leadership skills. By doing so, managers demonstrate confidence in their own abilities as well their employees’; in the long run they lead a stronger team with more capable, confident, responsible and productive employees.

To successfully groom your staff members and nurture their leadership skills, consider the following:

1. Delegate. Hand over responsibility to team members as they progress in the company. Remember to give them the authority that goes along with the responsibility. This will help build their self confidence.

2. Encourage risk taking. Start by assigning small, non-critical projects where employees can take risks and build their confidence and knowledge base by learning from their successes – and mistakes.

3. Provide feedback. Develop strong, honest and non-threatening relationships with your staff so they view your feedback as an opportunity to learn, rather than as criticism.

4. Training. Give your employees the opportunity to learn and develop new skills. Cross-training is beneficial and will give them an understanding of the company as a whole.

5. Encourage critical thinking. Employees should be encouraged to examine processes and procedures, to problem solve, adapt to change and find their own management styles.

6. Share insights. Keep employees abreast of your vision for the organisation and the direction it is headed. Share your thoughts about how you think employees’ can progress in the company and what roles they can assume to help the company grow on a regular basis. Keeping employees in the know will empower them and consequently create leaders within your organisation who feel accountable and take ownership.

If you develop your team’s leadership abilities, you will find that the possibilities are endless.

– S Ali Anis
The writer is lead consultant and trainer at Change180. info@thechange180.com

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on May 27, 2012.