How to Develop Employees into Leaders

One of the biggest constraints in growing a company is the lack of enough leaders to drive the growth and profitability of the company. Yet, inevitably that is a significant weakness for many entrepreneurs and their companies.

So, how does a senior leader create a plan to continually identify and develop new leaders for their organization?

  1.  Model the behavior you are looking for to the rest of your team. Work on developing yourself and your skills. Be a voracious learner and share some of your learnings with your team. Set the tone by asking each of your direct reports to set self-development goals for themselves and monitor their progress.

  2. Build a culture of Mutual respect and trust. Make it OK to ask questions or to not have the answer in your meetings, but insist that they research the question and report back to the team. Use your meetings as learning opportunities- bring in outside experts, teach the team how to help each other when they are stuck, and ask more questions as the leader so each individual can find their own answers.

  3. Let go of control and become an expert in delegating responsibilities. The smartest CEOs I have ever worked with have surrounded themselves with people who had strengths they did not have. Give your high potential employees stretch assignments that require that person to develop knowledge and skills that they may not currently possess. It is not your job to have all the answers; so stop trying to be the “smartest” person in the room.

  4. Learn and understand your employees’ career and personal goals and work hard to help them accomplish their goals. Spend real money to get them the education, certifications and exposure they need to move their careers forward.

  5. Create a system for identifying and training aspiring leaders on a regular basis. Leaders and HR managers need to know how to recognize and evaluate promising talent, and should be in a position to conduct a talent development program, which allows the abilities of the individuals to be measured on a regular basis. Learning and educational opportunities are rated highly as reason a prospective employee would choose your company over others. Use a tool like the Birkman Method to enable you and the employee to choose the best opportunities to advance their career.  

 The Angel Advisors works with CEOs and Leaders of companies to grow their companies and their people. If you need help getting to the next level, please contact us at