Developing leaders from within your own company starts with you.

DID YOU KNOW THAT one-hundred percent of “The Top 20 Best Companies for Leadership” (as defined by the Hay Group) manage a pipeline of qualified leadership candidates? These companies let ALL employees behave like leaders. Perhaps you’ve heard of a few of these companies – GE (#1), Proctor & Gamble (#2), Zappos … ring any bells? If it’s good for the most successful, shouldn’t we be trying to emulate them?[EasyDNNnewsToken:Left Justify Embed 300 x 250]

Developing Leaders

The key to building leaders is development. This is different from training. Training focuses on the now; development focuses on the future. Training is one-dimensional; development is multi-faceted. Training is something leaders dread and try to avoid; they look forward to development. Development is a series of actions. There is no one, simple thing that you can do to get your employees to step up to the plate and act like the leaders they could rightfully be. But there are a number of small things that can make a big difference

in creating a culture of leadership.


Modeling Leadership

The single most powerful action for developing leaders is to model the behavior you want to see. When you don’t model leadership behavior, apologize to your team and start again. Respect is also important. Respect everyone who works for you. If you find it difficult to respect someone on your team, they shouldn’t be working for you. Respect means listening to your employees’ opinions, encouraging them and helping them see their value. Leaders also need to know how to fail. Challenge your employees to take risks and undertake unfamiliar jobs. Let them stumble, and be their safety net. They will learn creativity, trust and resilience – all important leadership qualities. Here are some other ideas for developing leaders:

• Define your company’s principles and make

sure everyone knows them well.

• Regularly notice what people are doing well.

Only notice mistakes when necessary.

• Give your team the tools they need to be

successful – books, tapes, training classes, etc.

• Tell stories about building your business –

both the good and the bad.

• Listen to your teams’ stories and point out

the leadership traits you hear.

• Make time for every employee. Schedule

time with each of them.

• Make the coffee. This is modeling.

• Give your staff honest, thorough evaluations

that focus on their future.

• Create mentoring and goals programs.


A Leadership Culture

Creating a leadership culture starts with you. If you model outstanding leadership behavior as well as trust and challenge the people who work with you, leaders will emerge. Recognize that everyone in your company has leadership potential and your company itself will become a leader. The most successful companies understand this. Emulate them. Go forth and lead!



Liz Trotter is founder of American Maid Cleaning as well as entrepreneur and leadership trainer based in Olympia, Washington. She is also a former ARCSI board member, creator of the Culture Circus employee development system and a charter member of Cleaning For A Reason. Click here for more info