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Creating a Leadership Culture

(May 2008) posted on Mon May 12, 2008

Find, teach, and train the right people to lead your company.


By Marty McGhie

Reaching the next level

The next step is developing these qualities within your team. There are a couple of ways you can approach this. First, try as much as possible to emulate these leadership characteristics in your own behavior. Of course, you don’t have to be the perfect leader to be able to mentor your team. But if you aren’t exhibiting energy, confidence, communication, and vision, you are probably an ineffective leader and will have a difficult time instilling leadership skills in those around you. So the first step is simple: Begin with yourself.

Another successful way to train leaders is to solicit outside help. Recruit some respected people inside and outside your industry to speak to your management team. They will bring fresh ideas to your people to help them grow. The best part of using others in training is that your people will typically listen to them and take their advice.

At our company, our management team never really talks about the training sessions we have taught, but they do consistently refer to some of the information learned when others have been invited to come and speak. If you don’t have extensive networks of outside people, you can also research outside seminars and workshops that will address specific subjects such as communication, leadership skills, time management, etc.

In addition, there are dozens of management books written by some of the best and the brightest addressing leadership topics. I’ve mentioned in past articles about the value of reading these types of books together as a team and assigning different individuals from your leadership group to teach a given chapter or section of the book. Peers teaching peers is a great way to get everyone involved in the learning process. Here are just four books our company has found to be particularly valuable when it comes to leadership training (all of these can be found via amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, etc):

* Good to Great, by Jim Collins;

* The Great Game of Business, by Jack Stack;

* The Goal, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt; and

* Execution, by Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan.

Managers vs leaders

You’ll find that there is a difference between managers and leaders within any organization. A qualified manager can do a great job managing personnel within the framework of your business place. A well-trained leader, on the other hand, will consistently find ways to improve that framework and then get others to follow. These are the type of people that will help your business continue to improve and move to the next level.


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