As I'm sure you know, leading others isn't a skill that comes easily to everyone, no matter what his or her current skill sets might be. But any company can benefit greatly when its employees become leaders--taking responsibility for their part of the business and working closely with one another to grow it.
Despite what many of us believe, being a great designer, programmer, or doer of any sort is very different from being an effective leader of a team in any of those fields.
What, then, are some concrete ways to help those on your team become great leaders? Here are three suggestions:
1. Give adequate training
Even though a variety of different training opportunities are available to most everyone in an organization, typically only higher-ups and upper-level managers are eligible to receive leadership training. This is a mistake.
Every employee can benefit from leadership training, and by being given opportunities to lead. And the organizations for which they work benefit too when everyone has a say in where the organization is going, and how it's going to get there.
2. Offer copious amounts of feedback
Without pointers in the right direction, no one would know how to improve themselves. The best bosses and employers offer lots of good feedback, in order to give their employees concrete things they can do better to develop their leadership skills. When you provide feedback--and lots of it--employees are able to better refine their approaches, staying more engaged and satisfied with their work in the process.
3. Encourage leadership reading
As a company bonding activity, it might be useful to stat a leadership book club. Naturally, there have been plenty of books and manuals written on leadership that many new leaders and managers would benefit from reading.
Choose a book for everyone to read as participation and set up meetings once a week to discuss each method, technique, or approach highlighted in the reading. Your employees might even thrive in the structured, discussion-based setting as they learn skills that can only help them improve their craft.