Atlanta, GA (WiredPRNews.com) Unfortunately many organizations confuse leadership development and training. This is a mistake because training is only part of leadership development, not the entire process.
Leadership development is a comprehensive process that consists of:
• Identification of potential leaders.
• Training of potential leaders.
• Providing support for potential leaders in the form of mentorship and ongoing training.
• Integrating potential leaders into the decision making process.
• Integrating potential leaders into the management team.
• Identifying the next group of potential leaders.
The best way to begin a leadership development effort is to identify the characteristics that you want in potential leaders. Then start examining your existing employees to see who has those characteristics.
These characteristics can include character traits such as strength, courage, honesty, humility, charisma, loyalty, emotional intelligence, honor etc. It can also include specific skills, knowledge and expertise. For example: salesmanship, a familiarity with the business and familiarity with the new technology. Sitting down and writing out a list of these qualities is a good first step in a leadership development program.
Once this is done you could poll the management team or the employees to see if they think somebody has these characteristics. Another good means of doing this asking who could be a potential leader. Be careful not to confuse popularity with leadership when you do this.
A person who is well liked would not necessarily be a good leader. Many people who are competent in other fields such as salesmanship do not always make good leaders. Even many managers are incapable of leadership.
Once the individuals have been identified you can launch the leadership development program. The program will probably have to take several months and involve several levels of work. It is always a good idea to have a selection of candidates because not every candidate will work out.