Effective Leadership: Identify, Cultivate, and Grow Talent
In our last article, "How and Why to Identify Rising Talent" we discussed the 6 C's for evaluating and identifying the next generation of leaders. These key indicators are a first step to helping multi-unit franchisee owners identify rising talent. But once you have identified those potential stars, you then have to determine how to effectively inspire and develop them.
Ineffective leadership is an unfortunate commonality in many of today's businesses. Mostly because it takes a substantial amount of humility for one to look in the mirror to develop and sharpen their soft skills, especially for fast paced entrepreneurs focused on pushing the needle. Through the dedication and sacrifices in building the business, successful multi-unit franchisee owners have gained substantial technical and industry knowledge, but if they can't inspire and develop people underneath them, the direction and growth of the business is limited.
Unfortunately, what we often see as a roadblock to inspiring and developing people is, ego. As owners, and leaders of your business you are captain of your ship and have taken risks and sacrificed to get where you are today. As such, we find with many successful multi-unit franchisee owners, it can be lonely at the top surrounded by a lot of "yes-ers," because there may be repercussions for challenging the boss. As a result, it is easy to lose sight of what it means to connect with your people, allow them to push past their comfort zone and develop their natural leadership style.
To move towards intentionally investing in people development, and cultivating the "right" talent, understanding the type of behavior that makes us fail as leaders is crucial. In Why CEO's Fail, by David L. Dotlich and Peter C. Cairo, the authors lay out 11 characteristics that make a leader ineffective:
- Arrogance - One's map of reality is the only true and correct map
- Melodrama - Working to move the spotlight closer to oneself
- Volatility Caution - A hothead liable to explode without warning
- Excessive Caution - Still needing more information
- Aloofness - Sending people away and being seen as bothering them with minutia
- Mischievousness - Thinking that there is another rule to break
- Eccentricity - Enjoys being different
- Passive Resistance - Never telling people what they really believe
- Perfectionism - Failing to get the little stuff right, so who cares about the big stuff
- Eagerness to Please - Wanting to be liked by everyone
As you review this list, can you identify any that you may find as a behavior pattern in your leadership style? Are there any that you have witnessed throughout your career? If so, do you remember how it made you feel - deflated, unmotivated? Unfortunately, human nature will prevent us from being perfect in each of these individual areas, so occasionally, you may catch yourself practicing one or more of these behaviors. However, personal reflection, identification, and perhaps seeking a respected friend or coach, can change any ineffective habit into a positive and inspiring leadership style.
Leadership is displayed through one's impact upon another's choices, priorities, and behavior. As a leader of your organization, your approach to managing and leading your people has a direct effect on your people's ability to take initiative, think outside of the box, and move beyond their comfort zone. You may have identified the talent, but it is up to you to also cultivate it and help it grow. Otherwise, good people will leave your organization for other opportunities where they can flourish. Identifying where you may be able to develop as a more effective leader will help you develop your rising stars to be the leaders you need and want them to be to take your organization forward.
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