Attorney and author Ralph Nader once said, "The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers." It is important that leaders give back and help others develop strong leadership skills. Part of being a leader means you are invested in the success of your chapter, business or organization and by developing leadership in others you will help ensure that success. Here are three ways you can cultivate leadership in others:
1) Give them additional responsibility or ask them to make a decision.Decision making can be empowering for emerging leaders looking to find their footing in your chapter or organization. Having the ability to decide, steer the group in a certain direction or make changes will increase your members' desire to lead when they see that their actions can make an impact. When asking someone to make a decision you will need to be cognizant of two things:
- People need context in order to be effective decision makers. Ensure their success by providing them with any information or background they may need about the decision at hand. Be generous with your information and don't withhold any important details.
- Recognize their decision-making style before assigning them a new responsibility. Will they react too quickly or ponder too long? Ask too many questions or not enough? Consider the few or consider the many? Giving clear parameters and expectations of when you need a decision will help guide new leaders to find a resolution.
2) Engage in frequent feedback and encouragement. New leaders or members interested in leadership positions can benefit from you supporting and paying attention to them. Providing clear feedback and positive affirmations creates a trusting environment where new leaders can learn from mistakes, hone their skills and gain confidence in their abilities.
3) Identify teachable moments and promote educational opportunities.Future leaders can benefit from your successes as well your mistakes. Nothing is more valuable than learning from someone who has been there before so don't be afraid to share your experiences with others.
Encourage emerging leaders in the workplace to seek out additional training opportunities, experiences or conferences both in and outside of the office. Emerging leaders in your chapter should look for opportunities on campus to develop their leadership skills and apply for Gamma Phi Beta's emerging leadership program the REAL Leadership Experience.