lean startup

Five Ways to Find Great Leaders in Your Company

If you run a profitable company – one that is outgrowing your ability to run everything on your own, handing over some leadership will be inevitable.
Latest posts by Scott Seroka (see all)

If you  run a profitable company – one that is outgrowing your ability to run  everything on your own, handing over some leadership will be  inevitable. And your mental and emotional health will depend on it.

You  may have set your sights on a few long-time employees who define  excellence in everything they do, but that doesn’t necessarily  qualify them for a leadership position. Many who fit this description  are quite comfortable where they are, and they may even be ready for  a promotion, but not necessarily into one where he or she leads or  manages other employees. And then there are others who crave a  management position, believing it will come with a raise and an  entrée into authority.

Picking  a leader is one of the most challenging things business owners face.  If the wrong person is selected for the job, it will be very  difficult to strip them of their title and reverse the increase in  pay. And even when it’s done, repositioning them back into their  prior position may not be an option as the embarrassment that comes  with a demotion is usually too much weight to bear.

When  thinking of promoting someone into a leadership position within your  company, consider the following five criteria:

1.  Make sure they understand your business, your industry and your  customers. This  should serve as a benchmark. You simply cannot lead without  understanding upstream and downstream business issues and  understanding buyers. Focus on those people who take the initiative  to learn and attack new challenges at every opportunity. These are  the people who will bleed for your company.

2.  They have earned the respect of everyone around them.  You know who the likeable employees are – they have a sense of  humor and know how to make friends with everyone. They have the  charisma and are great at building customer relationships. But, do  they lead by example of living a life of integrity, courage and hard  work?

3.  They are goal-driven. There  are two types of great employees – those who come to work and do a  great job every day in every way. And there are those who do  everything expected of them and far beyond to advance in their  career, always looking to conquer their next goal. These are the  people who will inspire everyone in or on their team.

4.  They work well with everyone. Yes,  everyone. And  the way they work well with everyone is by earning respect. Next,  they practice critical leadership skills such as Active Listening,  empathy, efficient conflict-resolution  skills and do quite well at helping others resolve their own problems.

5.  They aren’t intimidated. Leaders  don’t beat around the bush. They don’t wait and see if everything  will get better tomorrow. Leaders understand that time waiting is  time wasting and get things done without worrying about office  politics. It’s another reason they earn respect. These are the  people who do what they know they need to do without hesitation.

If you know of  people within your company or organization who exemplify any of these  traits, and you are thinking about offering him of her a leadership  position, perhaps the wisest investment to make is one into leadership  training.

Your employees will appreciate it, and  respect your decision.

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