Some people think magnetic leaders are born that way, but that’s not quite how I see it. I believe magnetic leadership is a state that evolves over time. In fact, most of the magnetic leaders I interviewed for my book “The Magnetic Leader” were people who wanted to be good leaders and were willing to put in the work to reach that goal.
They observed other leaders. Some, they emulated; others, they promised themselves they would not be like. They learned while doing and made course corrections along the way. All of these leaders invested in their own development and continue to work on improving themselves every day. They understand the power of magnetism and how it can be a game changer when it comes to attracting employees, customers and profits.
Here are five ways organizations can help their managers transform into magnetic leaders.
1. Make coaching accessible to all.
The most magnetic leaders I know have either worked with a coach or are currently working with a coach to help them improve their performance. It’s impossible to see yourself as others see you, which is why you need someone with an outside perspective to help you improve. I know firsthand the benefits of having a great coach, as one was awarded to me when I found myself suddenly in charge.
2. Provide leaders with mentors.
One of the best ways to learn is by working with someone who has been there and successfully done what you are about to do. Companies would be well served to encourage senior leaders to mentor those with less experience. Opportunities for younger people to share their expertise with those who are more senior go a long way toward developing magnetic leaders, as younger people have a lot of expertise worth tapping into.
3. Provide managers with access to leadership development opportunities.
Not every organization is large enough to have an entire department dedicated to leadership development. Luckily, there is more than one way to access the expertise needed to become a magnetic leader. Conferences, industry association meetings and local chambers of commerce all offer programs worth consideration. You can also bring in an outside expert to deliver a program in house.
4. Invite thought leaders into your organization.
When authors are launching books, they are keen to get the word out. Seek authors who specialize in a topic you want your employees learn more about. Invite thought leaders to keynote your next company-wide management meeting, or ask them to facilitate a lunch-and-learn.
5. Rotate leaders throughout the organization.
Some of the most magnetic leaders I know became that way because of their experience working for organizations that encouraged them to rotate into different positions within the organization. This experience gave them the opportunity to learn from a number of leaders, who had different perspectives of company life, and gave them an appreciation for the work that others did in the organization.
Remember that becoming a magnetic leader doesn’t occur overnight. There’s a bit of trial and error that has to happen before a leader achieves the ultimate state of magnetic leadership.