How to Develop Leaders At Different Levels

Are you trying to figure out the best way to develop leaders?

While all leaders have challenges, there are unique aspects to each level in the organisation. For example, transitioning from managing yourself as an individual contributor to leading others or overseeing other leaders requires different needs and capabilities.

That’s where a leadership development program can come in handy. Developing leaders at different levels starts with approaching them about their current skills and the ones they desire to have. 

Incorporating this way of thinking into a leadership development program can ensure you focus on targeted skills. Here’s how you should begin your approach to develop leaders that report to you.

Developing Emerging Leaders

Emerging leaders are just beginning their journey. Your first steps are to increase their self-awareness and build relational skills. You should also focus on evidence-based leadership techniques to prepare them for the shift from managing themselves to leading others.

These types of people are still developing their organisational style and communication abilities. But, as they grow, they’ll begin to form an idea of what kind of leader they want to be.

Emerging leader development programs can include:

  • Self-assessment to identify areas for improvement
  • Leading a project to practice increased responsibility and accountability
  • Group coaching to help them grow with other emerging leaders, connect across organisational functions, consider future scenarios and roles, or develop a management mindset
  • Mentoring and coaching relationships to expose them to other parts of the business and develop outside thinking.

Developing Middle Management

Seasoned leaders have different needs than emerging or senior-level executives. So it’s important to take into consideration their prior knowledge and experience.

These supervisors or managers need learning designed to broaden their current skills, engage and influence others to impact results, operate strategically, lead other leaders, and establish teams.

These types of development programs can include:

  • Exposure to senior leaders in other organisations to deepen outside thinking
  • Professional or industry association involvement to gain deeper knowledge and connections in the business
  • Practice solving high-level, complex, real-world business issues with a diverse, cross-functional group
  • Individual mentoring and coaching relationships with senior leaders to gain an understanding of the business as a whole
  • Acting as a coach or mentor for emerging leaders to develop their relational skills
  • Cross-functional, cross-level, or international business assignments to diversify experience within the organisation across divisions
  • Leading a major organisational initiative to practice building high-performing teams and managing other leaders
  • Volunteer leadership or board role in an industry or professional association to build experience in influencing others
  • 360-degree assessments to identify areas of improvement

Other Techniques to Develop Leaders

When you decide to develop leaders, it becomes a commitment. Their learning should never end, and there should be a constant pursuit to become better. Of course, this responsibility doesn’t solely sit on your shoulders. However, your experience and guidance can ensure they stay on the right track.

If you need resources to help develop leaders, then make sure to follow the Better Boss Blog. You’ll find tips, tricks, and advice on how to improve your capability for managing people. Follow pwf services on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, so you never miss a post.

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