How a Leader can build a team of Leaders

Published: Jun 27, 2019, 14:38 IST | mid-day online correspondent

While a traditional leader looks to accumulate and exercise of power, the servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop into leaders themselves.

How a Leader can build a team of Leaders

There are vast differences in the way human beings live compared to their ancestors hundreds of years ago. However, basic human motivations and needs have not changed. Hence, ancient philosophical texts like the Upanishads, Tao Te Ching, Kabbalah & others have insights that have been used by great leaders thorough the centuries and have relevance even today. One of the key ideas you can derive from these books is the concept of Servant Leadership.

A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While a traditional leader looks to accumulate and exercise of power, the servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop into leaders themselves.

Once you have developed this mindset, here are some specific ways you can develop a team of leaders around you:

1) Engage your team with your vision –
Many of your subordinates may be working primarily for their salaries, but the potential leaders among them would want a greater sense of ‘meaning’ in their work. Make sure you constantly share your long-term vision about what you feel your organization can achieve for its team and for the world at large. Make them feel that this is not just your vision, but something that they all share by appealing to their hearts & minds. They will take full ownership on themselves to help to achieve that vision alongside you.

2) Recognize potential in your team –
Once you’ve engaged the team with your vision, involve them in difficult or unusual situations that push them out of their comfort zone. This is a great way to test which members have the potential to become leaders themselves. Get to know these potential leaders better by learning about their interests and personal goals. Leaders exist in all levels of your organization, so make efforts to interact with all of them.

3) Give opportunities for leadership development -
Once you’ve identified the potential leaders, give them a chance to develop further by involving them in longer-term challenging assignments or rotating their jobs temporarily into other departments. This gives them a chance to develop new abilities and deepen their understanding of the organization. Supplement this with formal training via internal workshops, online learning and sponsored courses in educational institutions.

Akhil Shahani, Managing Director, The Shahani Group

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