Leadership Is Not Always Leading Others

In this day and age, we hear a lot about “Leadership Training.” There are online courses, business courses, seminars, conferences, etc. that are more than willing to take your money and give you the standard, boring content. The real story is, the business client has changed! What worked in the ’70’s and ’80’s does not work anymore!

Gone are the days where the “leaders” leads by directing people. Don’t take that the wrong way. There are companies that need the leadership style of the “boss is the boss and you do not question him (or her). But those businesses are falling by the wayside. And they are doing so quickly – or they are facing closure.

The employee of today is no longer looking to “get into a company and stay forever.” The average employee is looking at making ends meet and work for you until “something better comes along.” Very rarely is there any loyalty involved!

I do not say this to disparage the average employee. This is simply the culture that has evolved. That being said, the leadership “training” that is offered today is usually based upon what was true 20 or 30 years ago. Since the employees are coming out of school / training / college around the age of 20 something – they are not familiar with the culture that the “bosses” are familiar with.

Now, what can we do about this?

Good question! I’m so glad you asked!

We need to train our employees, not just on the job they were hired for (receptionist, programmer, etc.). We need to train them to take over for their supervisor’s job! This training needs to begin just as soon as the employee is proficient in the job they were hired to do.

For example, if a person is hired as a receptionist, what are the odds that person does not want to stay a receptionist for the next 30 years of their life? Odds are pretty good they want another job! Why did they accept the job of the receptionist then? Because they needed a “job” to pay the bills “while they look for a better job.”

Why don’t you begin training them “for a better job?” By doing so, as soon as they are proficient in the job they were hired to do, they have the motivation to learn even more.

Instead of sitting there looking at their cell phone when not busy, they can help their supervisor out in some other minor task (filing, record keeping, etc.). In this way, they are learning to see things from their supervisors viewpoint. This allows them to begin to learn the culture of their employer!

What you also end up with, is a “back up” to the supervisor. They are able to step in on a temporary basis and fill in, if the supervisor is sick or otherwise unavailable.

This makes a lot more sense than having to train someone to do the supervisor’s job on a temporary basis that has no clue as to what to do!

What does this do?

It creates a climate that in inviting to the employees and actually will serve to increase the morale of the business overall.

Instead of simply directing people (commanding them) to do certain jobs, we train our leaders to train their people, in essence, to “replace them.” This goes up and down the chain of command!

From the boss who trains his VP to the file clerk who trains the receptionist, each employee should be learning the job duties of their immediate supervisor. Each level of supervisor should be training their own replacement.

Then, when promotions happen or people leave, your next level replacement has already been trained in the basics of the next level job requirements. They may not know “everything,” but at least the basic, day-to-day functions should be understood. This will cut down on the time it takes for them to be knowledgeable in the more important duties and responsibilities.

All in all, this method works. It is the method of “Replace Yourself” and is the culture that will survive in this “modern era” of running a business.

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