How to Train Managers to Become Leaders

March 14, 2016 12:00 PM

To scale your business, you’ve got to have leaders in place in your organization.  Bob Grace, Ph.D., an industry leading organizational psychologist and leadership consultant, says the best thing you can do is to identify managers with the capacity to become leaders and then help them get there.

“What you do to help them become leaders, is to get them to look up from what they are doing and think about what the business is doing, what the goals are and what we need to do to reach them,” he says.

Be aware of overcoming these challenges with your managers:

  1. Prepare them for intangible results. Grace says being a leader often doesn't produce the same hands-on results as being a manager does. Whether you’re transitioning from a management mentality to a leadership mentality--or helping an employee make that shift--it can take time to adjust.
  2.  Require strategic thinking. Managers often have a hard time learning how to think strategically, according to Grace. The solution: Require them to get involved on a strategic level. “It’s about having them think about, participate in and be part of determining what the longer-term direction is,” he says.
  3. Discourage them from micro-managing their staff. According to Grace, managers often stay too involved in the work their team is doing instead of letting their employees get the work done. He says that can lead to decreased productivity. Part of discouraging employees from micro-managing each other is setting a good example by refraining from micro-managing your employees.
  4. Teach time management. When you’re training managers to become leaders, it’s important to help them understand how valuable their time is. Grace thinks you should teach your employees think about whether or not whatever task they are doing is the “best and highest use” of their time. You should do the same thing if you want to improve or expand your own operation. He encourages dairymen to ask themselves: “What’s the best use of my time to grow this business?”    

What's the best leadership advice you've ever heard? Let us know in the comments. 

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