All organizations need a strong leader at the helm. Even though you are the leader, you also need leaders within your organization to help you manage the different areas of your business. When you place people in areas that they excel in and give them space to make important decisions, good things happen faster, customers are happier, and they in turn, refer others to you for their business needs.
Here are some proven ways to help your people take on leadership roles that will not only make your business grow, but make for a much happier work place filled with engaged employees:
1. Have a compelling mission tied to your business purpose
Passion gives employees a compelling reason to undertake ambitious responsibilities and to step up to challenges as they occur. Create a strong sense of mission tied to your organization's purpose and your company culture will reflect it. Seek out and hire people who resonate with and are excited by your mission, and then provide ways for them to participate in this mission in any way they can.
2. Create clear roles for every employee
When employees are uncertain about what their roles are or what expectations you have for them, they are less likely to take the risk of stepping into positions of leadership. Creating clear roles is an essential precondition for employees who want to lead, so be sure to give them the firm footing they want and need by clearly spelling out their jobs and your expectations.
3. Encourage your employees to make decisions
Don't just talk employee empowerment -- really do employee empowerment. By giving employees at every level of your organization decision-making authority (including such things as determining what products will be designed and sold to customers, creating work schedules, hiring and firing), you will unleash a widespread desire on the part of employees to lead. Of course, not every employee will step up, but you may be surprised by how many do.
4. Promote teamwork throughout the organization
Bust silo thinking by building cross-functional teams that cut across departmental boundaries to take full advantage of the ideas and expertise of all of your people. When you assign employees to these teams, encourage them to take on both formal and informal leadership roles, and reward them when they do it. This practice will also lead to improved communication throughout your organization, greater ability to capitalize on opportunities and better solutions to very difficult problems.
5. Be transparent with information
Leaders, no matter what their position in the company, need a steady stream of information about your business, customers and markets to make good decisions. Instead of withholding information from your people, be free and transparent with it. This will give employees the information they need to confidently step into leadership roles as necessary, taking responsibility for achieving the goals of your organization.