The key to helping turn managers into leaders is to ensure the process you use is simple and easy to implement; you can always layer on complexity later. Here’s a five-step approach for starting down the path of developing your managers into leaders:
Mentors. Ask your managers which mentors or leaders in their life have inspired them to grow beyond what they thought was possible. What were the characteristics these mentors or leaders displayed?
Legacy. Considering the characteristics of the inspiring leaders in their lives, ask the managers what legacy they would like to leave behind a leader.
360. Using your company’s survey tool, complete a 360-degree review of the managers. If you don’t have a tool in place you can use SurveyMonkey to ask these three simple questions: What does the manager do too much of? Not enough of? What do they do just the right amount of?
Gaps. Taking the legacy description and the results of the 360, work with the managers to uncover their blind spots and gaps in their leadership abilities. These become the target areas for improvement.
Development. This is the most critical step. Provide the managers with development opportunities in the form of special projects, leadership development programs, books and courses that are tied to their development needs. Make sure you also provide coaching and mentoring that supports the gaps and blind spots your managers need to develop.
Starting with the end in mind—and then working out a personalized plan for each manager which deals directly with the areas they most need to improve on—ensures that they are receiving the right tools at the right time to help them grow from managers to leaders.