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Motivate your associates to assume leadership roles
You won’t always be around when a bold decision or strong motivation is needed. Encourage your employees to step up.
Part of every leader’s job is to find and develop future leaders. You can’t do everything, after all, and you won’t always be around when a bold decision or strong motivation is needed.
Encourage your employees to step up with these tactics:
• Challenge them. Give Tom a tough goal—not one beyond his abilities, but something that will stretch his leadership skills. He may be surprised to discover his untapped abilities.
• Show them the value. Andrea may not realize how important her work is to co-workers or customers. Show her how she makes a difference, and she’ll probably motivate herself to do more.
• Support employees’ feelings. When Tom hits a roadblock, or Andrea’s efforts fail, give feedback that will reinforce their strengths and motivation, not discourage them from trying again.
• Help them persuade. Leaders have to motivate and convince others. Teach Andrea and Tom how to find facts and use evidence to gain broad support for their ideas.
• Listen to them. Even if you initially disagree with Tom’s idea or Andrea’s decision, listen to their point of view before giving feedback. You may not fully understand their reasoning—and you’ll show your respect for their skills, which will reinforce their willingness to stand up and take on a leading role.