Effective leadership is a key element of any successful organization - it is the backbone to productivity and the key driver of employee success. Bonnie Hagemann, CEO of Executive Development Associates, Inc. , a boutique consulting firm specializing in the strategic use of executive development and co-author of Decades of Difference: Making it Work, shares what makes an extraordinary leader and how employers can ensure that they are taking the steps necessary to build these skills within their organization.
What makes an extraordinary leader?
Extraordinary leaders are those who have both the strength and the compassion to lead others through both the calm and the troubled waters. They are well-equipped to help their team understand where they are going, how they align with the overall strategy, what goals should be set, and how they can fulfill roles and responsibilities and hold each other accountable.
What steps should employers take to ensure that they are building extraordinary leaders?
Building this type of leader requires a thoughtful approach and development is often achieved by one-on-one guidance through demonstration and storytelling. However, there are some more formal options that help develop leaders and prepare them to lead diverse teams, whether local or across many geographic regions. These include:
- Formal Mentoring with designated monthly meetings to transfer both wisdom and knowledge during a specific timeframe.
- Executive Coaching with one-on-one development around leadership-specific skills with a professional coach.
- Classroom Training with teaching on leadership, as well as skills and competencies in areas such as managerial courage, influencing, delegating, empathy, etc.
In addition, individuals should guide leadership candidates through real and current problems that engage their skills and test their competencies in a controlled environment. This way, the leader has the opportunity to try on and practice new skills before a real scenario presents itself.
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