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Lerone Graham

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Guidelines For Grooming Your Future Leaders


It's rare that a quality leader emerges without being groomed by someone who has been in that position. 

The true way to build a company is to give back by pinpointing leaders and taking them under your wing. 

Plenty of companies have talented, but you need to do everything you can to hone that talent so that you get the most of it, while also helping season them and build their tools. To learn some great info on selecting your leaders and getting the most from their talents, read on. 

1. Assess and Groom Their Mindset

Mindset is everything when it comes to leadership. 

While many relish being the person in charge, make sure that anyone you're grooming to be a leader resolves to lead from the front. When you lead from the front, it's more about what you give, rather than what you receive. 

In the book "So Good They Can't Ignore You", the author suggests building a craftsman mindset over a passion mindset. What this means is that the high priority should be to perfect and fine tune skills and abilities, in service to society, the company and your overall principles. With the passion mindset, you're only worried about what the world can offer you. 

Grooming leaders that give is incredibly important if you run a small business. The room for growth is tremendous, so you need someone who is willing to roll up their sleeves and do the extra work required to take the entire company to the next level. 

Make it clear to the candidate that you're interested in getting the most out of them, and impart to them the mindset you want them to develop. Give them some books to read on the matter, so that they're crystal clear on your philosophy and what is expected of them to become a leader in your organization. 

2. Spend Some Time With Them Outside of Work

Getting quality face time is essential when it comes to feeling people out. 

Think about it -- you do the most business with people that you enjoy. If you're grooming a leader, you need to be sure that your personalities click in a way that is conducive to positive energy in the workplace. All the talent in the world doesn't make a difference if the person doesn't have the right attitude. 

Take the time to have drinks, lunch, dinner or coffee, or even take a trip out of town. One of the best ways to get a feel for someone's potential is to invite them on a business trip so that they can watch, observe and get a chance to rub elbows with your associates. 

In between the business portion of the trip, you can take time out to level with each other and develop some understandings that let you get to know this candidate. 

3. Assign More Responsibility and Observe How They Deal With It

You really don't know how someone will work out until you give them the responsibility. 

Start out with a probationary period, and take a wait and see approach, as opposed to having them hit the ground running. A great way to do this is to start a small committee or initiative that they can be the point person on. Giving this level of responsibility is excellent for morale and will allow you to see what they can accomplish. 

At the end of the project, be sure that you have a review to let them know what they did well and what they can work on. This way, you're able to continuously build toward bigger responsibilities when you feel that they're ready. 

4. Empower Them Through Continuing Education Opportunities

Finally, you'll need to be sure you're always giving them more tools to succeed. The best way to do this is through continued education. 

Whether this means having them enroll in a graduate program, attending seminars or receiving certifications, they'll be better for it as professionals and will bring those skills back to your company. The benefit of graduates studying organizational leadership, for instance, is that they'll learn tools that broaden the knowledge of your entire company. By investing in their education, you're making your company more capable and skilled as a whole. 

So use these tips and you'll always be in a position to pinpoint and empower new leaders in your company.

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