Nurturing the future talent of your business is critical for any business owner, as you will need the reassurance of having someone to hand the reins over to once you retire. It is a good idea to start grooming future leadership early, so they have plenty of time to learn while you’re still at the helm. This will give you plenty of time to mould them into the leader your business needs to thrive.
You should carefully consider the skills that future leaders of your business will need. There are some clear necessities such as communication, delegation and negotiation skills. There are also skills necessary to run your business in a way that matches your values, like integrity and empathy.
Communication is one of the most important skills a business leader can possess. Leading a team effectively requires you to communicate the needs of the business to employees, suppliers and other third parties. You should look for potential future leaders with excellent communication skills and give them opportunities to improve their existing skills through things like public speaking and taking part in negotiations.
Delegation can be a difficult skill to learn, but it can get much easier with time. One of the major mistakes many new business leaders make is trying to do everything themselves. Delegation shows employees that you trust them and prevents burnout in leadership. You should talk to the employee you’re mentoring and give them advice and tips on how and when to delegate and how to identify the right employees to delegate specific tasks to.
3. Data Analysis
Being a business leader requires an understanding of the various data and metrics that show how well your business is operating. Future leaders will need to be able to identify the critical data and use it to make decisions to drive the business forward. Courses in data analysis can be invaluable to help future leaders learn how to make data-driven decisions.
Integrity is another critical skill for future leaders, ensuring they will run your business with the same honesty and morals you prize. You should be a role model for your future leader and run your business with the same integrity you expect them to emulate.
Running a business with empathy is crucial. Leaders will need to be able to empathise with employees, customers and other parties to understand the best ways to motivate and inspire those around them. They will also need to be approachable, ensuring that any employee feels comfortable discussing concerns and ideas with them. Empathy can be a tough skill to learn, so encouraging them to put themselves in the shoes of others regularly can be invaluable.
As a business leader, negotiation is a near-daily task. The future leader you choose will need to be able to negotiate contracts with suppliers, other businesses and employees. Having your chosen future leader shadow you throughout various negotiations can be invaluable to help them learn how to negotiate effectively. You can also consider sending the employee on a negotiation skills course to learn some of the best ways to negotiate well.