Benchmark Business Group

Are you developing leaders?

July 10, 2018

A common problem for growing businesses is finding the right people to fill new leadership positions.

You can hire experienced leaders. You can hope there are leaders already on your team. Or, you can train leaders. The trouble is, hiring experienced leaders tends to be expensive, hoping doesn't seem to pan out, and training needs to start sooner rather than later.

The solution is to start training leaders from this day forward. Training your team to think and act like leaders will have an immediate benefit in how they perform their day-to-day responsibilities, but it also allows your business to grow without the growing pain of trying to find leaders.

Training leaders starts with training their thought process. Leaders think differently. They view the business differently. They ask the right questions and understand that while they need to help find the answer, they don't have to be the experts. In other words, they know how to leverage people and resources.

So how does your business begin to train leaders? Start by training the business's point of view.

Leaders understand that all business decisions have to come back to the vision. They see the business differently, because they are not focused just on immediate results. They are not focused on how an issue or opportunity effects just their role. They are focused on the overall impact to the business. They think bigger than their role.
 
The one guiding question you should always use, and encourage your team to use, is very simply, "What does the business need to reach its vision?" By bringing everything back to this simple question, you bring everything back to the result.
Be mindful that in the beginning you will have to help guide your team to ask questions outside of their role when it comes to thinking from the business's point of view. Ask and encourage your team to use questions such as:
  • How does this affect our customers?
  • How does this affect our vendors?
  • What other roles/departments in our business will be affected?
  • What's the financial impact?
  • What other resources do we need; including help from others?
  • Who else should be involved?
  • What other ways can we achieve the result?
  • Does this get us closer to our vision?
  • Does this impact the time it will take us to reach our vision?
  • Is this in line with the values in our vision?
Remember, it takes time to change the way someone thinks, but it can be done. Ask your team the right questions. Encourage them to think about issues and opportunities from the business's point of view. Force them to think beyond just their role in the business. Give them the framework to think like a leader.

And when you build a team of leaders, you won't have to wonder where your business will find a leader when it's time 
to grow.

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