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Friday, October 17, 2008

Preparing Your Employees for Leadership

When I was head of training at SPI Technologies, I had this little experiment that I thought worked very well in preparing my team for leadership responsibilities. We did it by rotating leadership roles on a weekly basis.

Leaders of the week were given the following responsibilities:

* Set goals for the week (in coordination with the previous week's leader)
* Monitor individual performance on a daily basis to ensure delivery of results by the end of the week.
* Conduct at least one team meeting.
* Report team progress to me.

My role was to set the direction on a more long term basis and coach the leader of the week as needed.

There are a lot of benefits to having this exercise:

* It helps you determine the level of leadership maturity of your employees which gives you a fair idea regarding succession.
* Since experience is the best teacher, nothing beats this exercise in giving your employees a taste of leadership and a chance to practice it before they formally take the role for a longer term.
* Because your employees are different people, they handle the leadership role differently and you also get to learn from them and pick up some really good ideas.
* Most importantly, it's way more easy to manage a team where everyone has a good leadership perspective. During the conduct of this exercise, I saw more initiative in my staff, more sense of responsibility and focus on results.

Try it.


If you have an opinion about this topic or a related experience you want to share, please feel free to leave a comment but please be respectful. No bad words please or I will be constrained to delete it.