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 Survey Monkey to ask these three simple questions: what does the manager do too much of? Not enough off? 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 development opportunities in the form of special projects, leadership development programs, books and courses tied to their development needs, and coaching and mentoring, in support of the gaps and blind spots they need to develop.
Starting with the end in mind and then working out a personalized plan for each managers 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.