In Pryor seminars, we often meet professionals who are eager to lead, but are not yet supervisors or managers. Many say, “I’m not a leader yet;” or ask, “How do I lead when I have no control?” Our seminars and online learning focus on developing leadership competencies in emerging leaders, who do not yet have the title or role normally associated with leadership.
How can managers continue this development process for their rising stars?
- Leadership exercises and games allow junior and mid-level professional to “test” their leadership skills in case study or simulated environments. Well-designed activities draw on participants’ natural traits, allowing them to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses in a safe environment.
- Leadership assessments hold up a mirror for participants, revealing insights about their preferences and behaviors in an objective way. Assessments also provide a vocabulary for participants to describe and refine their own leadership style.
- Leadership models provide structured ways to reflect on different aspects of leadership. Some models focus on a specific leadership process, such as change management, creativity, innovation or project management. Other models focus on specific aspects of a person’s leadership style, such as conflict management, cognitive preferences or emotional intelligence.
- Leadership case studies, such as ethics exercises, allow emerging leaders to test their resilience in real-world contexts where there may not always be a right answer. Like leadership exercises, these activities allow participants to flex their leadership muscles and build on their strengths.
Another tip is to highlight emerging leaders when they have successfully led – without even realizing it. For example, sometimes, leadership is shown by raising a controversial topic in a meeting, taking on an extra project, guiding a team in an informal meeting or teaching another person. If you see leadership in the moment, point it out – so people who are leading from wherever they are see the progress they are making.