5 Ways CEOs Can Create Great Leaders
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People in the business world rarely struggle with the concept of a target customer. Regardless of the business you're in, you won't make it far if you don't identify your target customer and develop ways to reach them with your product or service.

Clate Mask has been educating and inspiring entrepreneurs for more than a decade, and is recognized by the small-business community as a visionary leader. His passion for small-business success stems from his personal experience taking Infusionsoft from a struggling startup to an eight-time Inc. 500?5000 winner. As CEO, Mask is leading Infusionsoft on its mission to create and dominate the market of sales and marketing software for small businesses.

People in the business world rarely struggle with the concept of a target customer. Regardless of the business you're in, you won't make it far if you don't identify your target customer and develop ways to reach them with your product or service. But people who run companies are rarely as focused on target employees as they are on target customers. But without clearly identifying the kind of employee you wish to have in your business, how can you attract the kind of people that will help you grow and prosper? Beyond that, CEOs and other execs rarely identify the kinds of leaders they wish to have in a business. Depending on the type of business and the principles they're founded upon, the kinds of traits CEOs want in a leader can vary greatly. That's all the more reason to identify them clearly.

It's my belief that great companies must have strong leadership throughout the organization. Going a step further, the best companies actively work to develop great leaders. As I've helped to grow Infusionsoft over the past decade, it's been a passion of mine to actively develop great leaders throughout our organization.

Here are five ways I've learned a CEO can create great leaders.

1. Start training on your first day

Onboarding is a step in the employee development process that far too many companies overlook. How can new employees expect to get up to speed quickly if they're not immersed in the company history and culture? The key here is to share the vision of how the company was created and the vision of where the company is headed.

It's also important during the onboarding process to explain workflows, create connections to new team members and set clear expectations. Leaders are more likely to prosper in an environment where expectations are clear.

2. Plan your goals quarterly

With so many moving parts within a company, CEOs have the opportunity to create better leaders by getting ahead of challenges. Quarterly planning meetings should not be designed as a way to get everyone caught up with each other. On the contrary, these should be forward-looking events that help reinforce the company's vision. Along the way leaders will emerge who can take these goals and quickly execute a successful plan of attack.

3. Stay focused on the big picture

CEOs create stronger leaders when they give people specific goals that they're trying to achieve. Clarity is key. Once your leaders have clear goals, they will align goals for the rest of the team. As part of the quarterly planning process, it's key that leadership walks away with a clear understanding of the company's focus for that quarter.

4. Create a closely connected leadership team

Monthly meetings with the entire leadership team can act as an opportunity for the CEO to engage in formal leadership training and inspire the troops. This is a time to recognize the great work your team is doing and push them to inspire their own teams to achieve more. Take the time to listen to their challenges and think creatively, as a group, on how those can be overcome.

5. Never stop learning

Think of leadership development as a long-term extension of what takes place during the onboarding process. Employees should continuously be learning about all aspects of your company. Develop ways to connect people in different departments and get them to better understand different roles within the company. This all serves as a way to develop stronger leaders because your employees are constantly gaining knowledge.

One of the primary goals of developing great leaders is to increase the likelihood that the most difficult problems your company faces can be solved. As CEO, it's critical to make sure you're recruiting, keeping and developing the right people. Any time I see a gap in my business, I can always trace it back to a leadership issue.

If you work on developing better leaders, the result will be far fewer avoidable problems to solve. And when big challenges do crop up, you'll have a team that is eager and well-prepared to solve them.

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Article provided by Inc

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