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Hold Onto Your Greatest Assets

The mark of a great leader is reflected in the people he/she trains. Nikolai Tesla was a protege of Thomas Edison. In fact, it was Tesla who provided cutting edge technology sparking growth in the electrical industry. Edison got the credit, but Tesla was the genius behind the revolution. It is important for leaders to ensure the health of their organizations by securing the best upstart leaders around. There are four steps to building great leaders.

1) Recruit excellent talent. Every company has dedicated people committed to doing their best in their assignments; however, exceptional talent is hard to find and comes at a premium. Building leaders begins with recognizing the potential in people and snatching those people from the marketplace before others realize that potential.

2) Train talent well. Once you have recruited excellent talent, give them all the tools needed to be successful. Once employees realize they are an asset to your organization, they will begin to shop their services around to the highest bidder. Don't leave good talent unattended. Get them involved in the business. Make them feel a part of the team. Give them reasons to buy in and take ownership. They will be less likely to leave and show greater loyalty to your corporate mission and vision.

3) Delegate responsibility. Many executives and managers fail greatly in this area. They give unqualified people significant tasks and menial tasks to more qualified and deserving individuals. Competence is often viewed as threatening by insecure leadership. People are deliberately put in positions to fail so they can be terminated or forced to leave. Show your people that you have confidence in their ability and give them the tasks that will showcase their talent.

4) Let go. Once you have given out the assignments, back off and let your people do their job. Micromanagers are frustrating to free spirits, or people who can work effectively without supervision. You only need to get involved if the plans aren't followed or if the assignments aren't completed with efficiency. You hired them. You trained them. If you don't believe they can do it, perhaps that is more a reflection on your leadership than their ability.

The marketplace has a shortage of talent in most industries. If you have great people work with you and around you, show them appreciation. Don't take them for granted and don't assume they will stay with your organization for the long haul. Strength is in demand more than weakness and if you don't value your greatest assets, someone will.

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