In the words of Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” Unfortunately, this dichotomy means that talented individual contributors who climb the organizational ladder and become managers are often unprepared to lead teams or departments of employees, which necessitates leadership training programs to bring them up to speed. But in a world where time and money are scarce resources, how can organizations train their new leaders and managers both quickly and on a budget?
Organize a Book Club
It’s impossible to overstate the benefits of regular reading, and when it comes to leadership development, books are an invaluable asset. Assign new managers a book on leadership or business-related topics and set a regular meeting to discuss it. This will not only expose your fledgling leaders to new strategies and practices, but it will also give you the opportunity to build relationships with them so that you can continue to cultivate their abilities outside of more formal settings.
Like a rookie athlete who flourishes under the guidance of a seasoned coach, new managers in your organization can grow tremendously under the watchful eye of veteran leaders. When new managers first step into their roles, assign them an experienced leader as a mentor and provide them specific topics for discussion: How does each member of the pair approach problems, for example? Such focused mentoring guarantees new leaders will receive individualized attention in the skills that matter to you, and since the older mentors will gain insight into these leaders’ talents and thought processes, it may help you to assign future roles or job placements.
Turn Meetings Into Seminars
Most organizations already host regular staff meetings, and if not, you can regularly schedule one and use it as a forum to develop leaders’ abilities. Similar to a book club, you can open meetings by watching short videos on leadership or related subjects and invite new leaders to discuss them; you can even ask how those in attendance plan to apply the principles they learn about in the coming week.
Pay for Programs for Top Talent
When you come across a leader with exceptional potential, you may want to actually invest in their growth. Paying for leadership development or educational programs is an effective way to cultivate employees, and beyond the leadership skills it may inspire, the act of spending money on employees’ growth signals to your staff that you value employees and their contributions and that you’re willing to reward both.