Becoming a leader isn’t any different than becoming a plumber, lawyer, doctor, etc. One has to make a conscious decision to become a leader. I can’t convince anyone to become a leader any more than I can convince someone to become an electrician. The desire has to come from within.
Many people just want to go about, do their job, and be left alone. Then there are those that will follow others, which is all well and good. We need followers. Followers believe in the belief of others. In essence, without followers, there can’t be leaders.
Where are the leaders? You could have a team of people that get the job done where there really isn’t a leader. What would cause this? Could it be a type of job that doesn’t breed leaders? Or could it be that your hiring practice is more geared to hiring workers that don’t exhibit the traits of a leader? Meaning people that are just doers. It is my personal belief that leaders look for challenges.
The title of supervisors and managers doesn’t automatically make them a leader. Many of them possess that boss mentality. They think they are in control of the situation and that the people work for them. They don’t see the benefits of a team and helping them. However, these positions do lend themselves to becoming a leader.
There are people that want to be leaders. They see the benefits of helping people succeed. They see something they want and they go after. It could be a new product or a new process. Their coworkers trust them.
Another situation is when people are looking for a leader to emerge, lead the team, and take charge. They are looking for a champion. In fact, there could be a leader in that group. A person that is trusted by others but too afraid to upset the status quo.
If you are looking for a person to take charge of a situation, I would suggest that you get involved in knowing the group. Ask questions and find out if anyone has suggestions. By asking questions, you might be able to find a leader. The possibility exists that there are leaders out there that need to be found and given the opportunity to shine.
Realize there are many potential leaders out there but can’t get there on their own. First and foremost, they have to be given the opportunity to do so from their superiors. It is very difficult to lead a team if you don’t have the support from your superiors. They don’t have to be a supervisor but some type of leadership position such as team lead for a given process.
Lastly, give them the tools to be a successful leader. Lead by example. Coach them. Let them know what the goals are. Mentor them. Provide them books by successful leaders, not necessarily well-known leaders.
As a supervisor, I wanted to get better. This was accomplished by listening to successful managers, asking questions, and reading books. I tried the new concepts I found. Some worked while others didn’t. I encountered both success and failures. I learned more from my failures than I did from my successes. Leadership is a process and not a destination. I really didn’t become a better supervisor/manager. I became a leader and built some great teams.
Where are the leaders? They’re out there. Kind of hard to find because they are diamonds in the rough. Oh, they have the potential and talent. They lack training or polish. That’s your role.