When it comes to leadership, the great nature versus nurture debate runs rampant. Are leaders born or are they made? While there are certain characteristics that might make someone a great leader, sometimes they need help to develop the skills that will unlock their potential.

In a workplace environment, what better way to guarantee the continuity of a corporate culture than helping employees develop their leadership skills? While not everyone will go on to take charge of an organization, taking steps to enhance their abilities will strengthen the company as a whole. Here are some effective ways to develop great leaders within your organization.


Coaching and Mentoring

To help people grow into effective leaders, an organization must be willing to invest in coaching and mentoring. In some cases, that will mean bringing in an outside consultant to help top performers reach their potential. An experienced coach will not only teach skills like effective communication; they can help set goals and devise an action plan to reach them.

Many successful organizations opt to have a mentoring program without incorporating external consultation. Pairs are made of individuals at different levels in the organizational hierarchy to help develop leadership skills and create a better understanding between subordinates and managers or across divisions.

For example, someone in marketing might be paired with someone in accounting. This cross-division approach will show the marketer that the accountants are responsible for more than tallying up the hours on payroll (you can Convert Decimal Hours To Hours And Minutes In 1 Step! OnTheClock is a commonly used resource). Conversely, it shows accountants that more thought goes into marketing than playing with fonts and colors, creating mutual respect within the organization.


Encourage and Maintain Open Communication

To empower people to become great leaders, the executive team must be willing to hear suggestions and feedback from employees at all levels. While employee performance review protocols are the norm in the corporate world, rarely do businesses implement a way for employees to review their managers in return. This creates disparity and frustration throughout the organization.

Opening communication within the corporate structure will not only empower lower-level employees to develop their communication and leadership skills, but it will help those already in leadership positions. Those in positions of authority will have to listen to feedback and constructive criticism and learn to respond diplomatically and evaluate their actions.


Lead By Example

The greatest task of a leader is not to create followers, but to create future leaders. To do so, they must be willing to lead by example. At the executive level, leaders must show that they are always striving to learn and improve, that they’ve earned their place at the helm and will continue to do so.


By showing their continued professionalism, remaining transparent and authentic, and showing respect regardless of position, the current leaders will inspire the potential leaders of the future. The best part about modeling as a form of leadership development is that respect and professionalism don’t cost a thing. These traits can be taught and will be inherited by those who strive to follow in a great leader’s footsteps.