25 Jan, 2022

5 Ways To Turn An Employee Into A Leader

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Written by
Amit Volinits
When it comes to filling leadership positions, most companies prefer to promote from within. Even though there are certainly people out there with the skills and qualifications to take on the role of a leader, often a better choice is someone from the inside who’s already familiar with the company culture and day-to-day runnings.

“Leaders are made, they are not born.” – Vince Lombardi

While this is a wise decision, it means you’ll need to put in a little work to teach your employees the skills necessary to lead. Here are 5 ways you can turn an employee into the leader your company needs.

Encourage them to network

Networking is a great opportunity to meet and connect with people. Whether it’s an event within your company where different departments get to meet and interact or an external one with professionals from another business, both represent great networking opportunities.

Your employees will not only benefit from the people skills they gain while meeting and interacting with new people, but will also make valuable connections that will come in handy in a leadership role. 

Expose them to leadership experiences

It’s easier for someone to learn something when they have the chance to experience it. The same applies to leadership and there are plenty of experiences you can expose employees to, in order to help them prepare for the role.

For example, you can ask them to sit in on important meetings to see how they’re managed, then later give them a chance to chair a few of those in your place to implement the skills they’ve learned.

Give them more responsibilities

Ideally, a leader should have good time management skills and be able to balance the many responsibilities that come with the role. A good way to prepare an employee for this is by giving them extra tasks from time to time so they can learn to manage and handle them.

It might seem like you’re throwing them in at the deep end at first, but it’s a great way to help them learn. Giving them those responsibilities also shows that you have faith in their abilities - trust builds confidence and increased engagement. 

Be a mentor

When you’re teaching someone to be a leader, it’s inevitable that a mentor-mentee  relationship will form between you. As a mentor, you have the opportunity to guide an employee by offering advice, as well as learning and growth opportunities that will ultimately turn them into a good leader.

You can also offer resources that will help them, such as leadership training, links to online seminars, or even connecting them with people who went through a similar journey who can share their experiences with them. 

Lead by example

The best way to teach anyone anything is to set an example. When you present yourself as a good leader, employees can learn from that and follow in your footsteps.

Some examples of traits of a good leader that you should make an effort to show your employees include confidence and good communication skills. 

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John Maxwell

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