Does anyone following the NFL ever wonder what a team is doing with a draft pick? Often times, teams with established quarterbacks will use a high draft pick on a rookie quarterback, even if the established quarterback has several good playing years left. Their philosophy is simple: Let the rookie quarterback learn from the experienced quarterback and when it is the rookie’s turn to assume the starting job, he is more prepared and ready to lead his team to victory.
Organizations follow this same logic, by establishing mentor/mentee programs, when they determine it is time to groom new leaders one day capable of leading the business. Mentors discuss mentees ambitions, suggest activities to help get experience, or provide ways for the mentee to learn the ins-and-outs of the business in an accelerated fashion.
The goal of all these efforts is to provide some platform to transfer experience and knowledge that is not readily available in another form.
However, what if you aspire to become a leader, but don’t have access to a mentor/mentee program or the mentor/mentee program is not preparing you adequately? Is your only option to read a sales leadership book or attend leadership seminars? The answer could be yes, but you know books and seminars will not replace valuable lessons learned by observing or being tutored on leadership principles first hand.
So how do you make up for this valuable leadership development, if you don’t find the right environment or one cannot be provided for you? Luckily, it is no sweat, but it does take action and commitment on your part.
A proven, two step guide for creating an improvised mentorship or sales leadership development plan is:
- Step 1 – Think about and identify someone in your office who is an effective leader and who possesses leadership qualities and skills you want to imitate.
- Step 2 – Define the qualities– creativity, attention to detail, fairness, assertiveness, dedication– that you aim to imitate. Also, identify skills that you can develop – public speaking, writing, coaching, and/or listening. Develop a plan to ensure you get more information on each skill and practice until you feel confident in the skill and then move on to the next skill in your plan.
As a kid perhaps you were fortunate to have your parents and/or other role models whom you remember to be individuals you admired. You might have even promised yourself that you would try to imitate their great qualities when you became an adult. By identifying an individual with leadership qualities and skills you can create your own, personal leadership training program.
You must however, be committed to developing a plan and working your plan. You must require yourself to incorporate newly learned skills or observed work habits into your own environment to ensure you succeed in leadership development for your own growth and maturity.