Companies need to have a number of strong leaders within their organization, in order to run efficiently and productively. In some cases, there are quieter, more reserved employees who would make wonderful leaders, if their leadership qualities were properly developed. Here are some tips for developing leadership attributes in employees who don’t always stand out in the crowd as born leaders.
Give quieter employees tasks that require them to speak up. Those who hide behind a desk all day are often overlooked for leadership roles, simply because they don’t show initiative as a leader. Having a task that requires them to step outside their normal box can give them a chance to shine. Add additional responsibilities until you feel they are ready to move on to the next level.
Allow them to shadow you. Many quiet people are the type who learn by watching, rather than the type who just jump in and take the reigns. Show them the behaviors and actions that you would like to see from them and if they have leadership potential, they will begin to emulate those leadership qualities. It might take some time for them to get over any initial shyness about working in an authoritative role, but as they build their confidence by watching you and working alongside you, the actions will become more natural for them.
Put them in a position where they must make decisions as a leader, without them knowing that they are expected to take control. When there is a problem at hand, leave them in a position where they simply must deal with it. Any hidden leadership characteristics they might have will naturally come to the surface, and it may inspire them to strive for more within their career path.
Developing leadership qualities is something that takes time, so don’t think that a couple of additional tasks or “incidental” scenarios will bring out someone’s full potential overnight. Let your less outgoing employees wander into a leadership role and test the waters. Once they find their footing, you may find that you have a powerful and dynamic leader where a meek and mild employee once stood.
Adapted from an article written by Jason Wilton from http://www.leadershipmadesimple.com.