As an effective leader, one of the most important tasks that you can do for your company is cultivating a sense of autonomy and leadership within your work environment. No matter what industry you are in, leadership skills will always influence the success and development of your business. While it may be difficult to get lost within the day-to-day operations of your business, you have to remember one thing; you are only as strong as your weakest link.

So why is leadership important? Shouldn’t we focus specifically on employees who can do the job than individuals who are looking for management?

While it is true that you want to find a candidate that possesses a specific skillset for a particular position at your company, you also want to think outside of the box and find an individual who can grow to shape and transform your company in the most optimal way. To start, let’s define leadership. Leadership, in reality, cannot be easily defined by one word or one sentence. Instead leadership is broken down through a various qualities and strong characteristics. They are, by definition, individuals who create an inspiring vision for the future. They are individuals who motivate and drive others around them. But most importantly, they are individuals who coach, mentor, and build employees in reaching and achieving their intrinsic professional goals. By having these individuals in your company, you will be able to establish that strong working environment needed to help your business thrive within the future.

So how do you do this? How can a CEO or a manager build leadership within the workplace?

To start, begin by dropping your title. Oftentimes, employees are intimidated to talk to a manager or a CEO of how to further develop as a professional. Come in with that student-teacher mentality by providing situational leadership opportunities to help demonstrate how your employees can take charge. This type of communication will allow your employees to internalize a specific mentality of being bigger than themselves.

After having established that connection, you can start building those leadership skills by immediately listening to your workers. Some of the best leaders in the world are the most proactive, strategic, and intuitive listeners. They recognize various problems and looks for strong tactical solutions to help solve them. To help build strong leaders and game changers within your company, you need to first understand where they are coming from. Ask them a variety of questions such as what they like about their job and where they want to see the company at in the future. These questions will help you pinpoint which employees are going to be the biggest drivers for your company.

Once you have listened and observed your employees, try providing positive and professional feedback. At times, many employees may look at this as a negative. To help prevent them, try and stay positive as possible. Shape your language in a way of hope where any mistakes or any changes can be opportunities for their success. But most importantly give advice. Whether they take it or not, any advice will help shape that individuals mentality in the best possible way.

Last but not least, good leaders must lead by example. They must walk the talk and become the person others want to follow. This will, in turn, inspire their employees to act, talk, and perform the same way as them. Remember, you are their mentor. You are their shining example. Once you have established that image, you will begin to see the changes within the attitude and performances of your employees.