Turning Workers Into Leaders
One of the biggest frustrations of organisations with a vision of growth (which should be all of them) and success is to be sustained by people with a worker’s mindset. You might ask yourself the question “But isn’t that all they need to be? I mean, you need workers to do what you direct them to do”. Well, let me challenge you with this thought, because I would say that in order for a company to grow and reach its full potential, what it needs is not excellent workers, but excellent leaders that work hard.
There first thing that needs to be made clear is that leadership does not depend on a title or having people under you who you can direct. Everyone who has influence is a leader, you can either be a good or a bad influence, therefore you can either be a good or a bad leader. The key to having a successful company is to develop a leadership mindset in the workers, so that the weight of the company is not only on your shoulders but it is equally and passionately carried by everyone.
But how do you do this? How do you help even the newest assistant to become a leader?
Share the vision
In order for the company to move forward as a whole it is important to make sure everyone is looking and moving in the same direction. As the head of the company it is your job to communicate the vision in a way that everyone gets it and grabs it for themselves. A vision is of no use if it is imposed, but it becomes the best fuel for a team who gets it and makes it a part of themselves. A vision only works if it catches the heart of the people it is presented to.
This is why it is your job to not only communicate but create a culture that reflects the vision of the company. When the way you do things is a reflection of the vision of the company this becomes a great monitoring system and support system to ensure everyone walks in the same direction. If your vision is providing and excellent service, it should be reflected on the procedures of the company that cannot be done unless they are done in the best way.
Give room for challenges and encourage growth
No one can grow without room. A plant will only grow as tall as the room it has above it, otherwise it will start spreading sideways. Every person is also limited by space and no one is not able to go further than the boundaries placed around them.
You can demand as much growth as you want, but it will not happen unless you make room for it. Professional and personal growth come from challenges, your workers will need their oversights to put them in a position where they will encounter challenges and ultimately grow. These challenges may look like something that is a bit beyond their capacity, their ability or their comfort zone, because as we all know growth doesn’t happen when you are comfortable.
Give them something to own
We always value more what we consider or own. If the workers know that what they are in charge of will not happen unless they do it, it will suddenly become something of their own and a responsibility that they will have to maintain in order for it to happen. This gives them a sense of power and at the same time will make them feel valued and important for the company.
At the same time it is important to communicate the value of what they do and how this impacts the overall performance of the company. When I started college and we had to serve in church, our leaders took the time to explain the why behind what we did, so that we could understand that a simple job such as greeting people at the door could make a giant impact in someone’s life and it served the vision of our church that consisted in making people feel at home.
Create a celebrating culture
Everyone works better when they stay motivated, and the best way to ensure motivation is to create a culture of encouragement and celebration. Be the first example and start celebrating those you lead when they do something good and why not, also celebrate those overseeing you when they work with excellence. It would be good to communicate such value with words and tell people that you want to see a “Culture of encouragement or celebration” and this will also serve as an example for them to start doing the same.
Tell us, how else can you turn workers into leaders in your company?