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Business Insights for Women
PNC INSIGHTS Magazine Spring/Summer 2014 Issue
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Tapping into employees' natural leadership abilities benefits your business.

It may be tempting to position yourself as the sole leader in your organization, and disseminate your leadership through willing managers. But you'd be missing out on the talent of natural leaders who can not only drive your company today, but lead it into the future.

Both leaders and managers are needed in any business, but they serve different purposes. "Leadership is an influence relationship," author Joseph C. Rost wrote, "and management is an authority relationship." In other words, managers have the prosaic purpose of planning, organizing and coordinating so that the work gets done. Leaders--no matter what their corporate rank--gather followers, whom they inspire, motivate and provide with practical knowledge that gives purpose to their work.

Your reward for developing leaders in your organization will be innovation, engagement and a cadre of energized individuals eager to tackle the challenges your company will face in the future.

Identify the Leaders

Your first task is to identify the employees who come up with new ideas to help the customer and organization alike, willingly share their expertise, continually develop and grow no matter what their position in the company and question commonplace assumptions. Some of these leaders may be suited to management roles--but many will be among your rank-and-file employees.

Find the opportunities to task these potential leaders with projects that allow them to develop while generating creative solutions to problems. You may want to start small when offering projects to challenge them and set them up for success. Here are a few ideas to bear in mind as you get started.

  1. Pose the task as a problem. Instead of offering a solution, let the leader and her team find her own way.
  2. Let the leader choose her team. Ideally, she should be able to reach across departments and hierarchy. Team members should be free to accept or decline the invitation, putting the onus on the leader to convince them to participate.
  3. Establish reporting metrics. This allows you and other executives to evaluate solutions impartially--and it allows leaders to keep track of their teams' progress.
  4. Meet regularly with your leaders. You'll ensure that their projects remain on track, and be able to offer guidance and access to resources as appropriate.

 


The article you read was prepared for general information purposes by McMurry. These articles are for general information purposes only and are not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting or financial advice. PNC urges its customers to do independent research and to consult with financial and legal professionals before making any financial decisions.These articles may provide reference to Internet sites as a convenience to our readers. While PNC endeavors to provide resources that are reputable and safe, we cannot be held responsible for the information, products, or services obtained on such sites and will not be liable for any damages arising from your access to such sites. The content, accuracy, opinions expressed, and links provided by these resources are not investigated, verified, monitored or endorsed by PNC.