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5 Strategies to Develop Leaders in your Organization

culture inspiration leadership people Feb 09, 2022
Why Employees Refuse to Lead

Growing businesses and franchises are constantly looking for assistant managers, unit managers, and district managers who can properly oversee the organization. But sadly, not every crew member wants to become a leader. This is very frustrating for business owners, especially if employees have real potential.

Why is there this refusal to go up to the next level, even though there may be a desire for professional growth and self-improvement? And more importantly, what can you do about it to develop leaders in your organization?

In my 30+ years of experience working with a variety of big-name brands in the franchise industry, I've found five reasons employees don't want to take on leadership roles. But also, I came up with strategies you can implement to solve these struggles.

This is critical. Having the right leaders in place and developing them is a must if you want to achieve your time freedom and financial goals as a business owner.

Review these tips to develop your leadership bench.

Reason #1: Poor leadership role models

The first and most important reason why people do not want to step up into a leadership role is that their bosses or even the business owners or franchisees they work for don't perform their roles well enough and they don't want to have these people as their direct supervisors.

As owners, we tend to think that we are doing a good job but from our people’s perspective, it may not be so. Think about it! Perhaps you are too focused on numbers and results and you don’t take into account your people’s thoughts, feelings, situations, and experiences. In consequence, they might feel that you don't care about them.

Discover three reasons why your employees do not do their job well and how to remedy them.

Strategy #1

Become the leader they need. Develop an anonymous employee survey or an assessment of some sort so you can identify:

  • What are the opportunities of improvement you have as a business owner?
  • How people are seeing you and your leaders?
  • What are you or your manager doing to foment a bad or a negative perception?

You need to first be aware of the issues so you can act upon them with a plan so that your staff has the leaders they need.


Reason #2: Avoid working more hours

When your staff sees your managers working long hours, they tend to get scared and refuse to take such responsibilities so they don’t have to work that many hours.

Now-a-days, people are looking more at having a work-life balance, or as I call it, work-life harmony. So, some employees rather stay where they are, with the salary they have, than give up a big part of their lives to become managers.

Learn what characteristics to look for in the next district manager for your business.

Strategy #2

Explain how having more people in leadership roles will mean that everybody works less. And point out what the expectation of labor hours would be once the leadership staff is complete. 

Be honest and let them know that until the store is properly staffed, they may have to work extra hours, but that your goal is to reduce turnover so they don't have work overload and are able to experience a quality work-life harmony.


Reason #3: Escape from the stress

Employees see what their leaders are going through and all the stress and concerns that their responsibilities provoke. So, they might not want anything to do with that.

Strategy #3

Analyze what can you do to alleviate your manager’s stress level. Can simplify the business? Use technology to make things better? Have more HR support? Ask them for recommendations and improve their experience. You don't want your leaders burnout.


Reason #4: Abstain from telling people what to do

In people’s minds, this is the main responsibility of a leader and they don’t want to go around every day giving orders to workers. But to me, the job of a leader is to teach people what to do and then help them do it right.

Strategy #4

The role of a leader is not bossing around, but having an impact on the team members, caring for them, and creating a positive culture for them. So, inspire your potential leaders explaining that if they become managers, they get to say what the experience of the employees will be.

When you look at it that way, leaders are supporters, teachers, and coaches for their team. This may be more appealing to them, especially if they have people skills.


Reason #5: Scared of the unknown

People tend to avoid acquiring more responsibilities even though they have never been in a management position, because sadly, their bosses don’t usually talk about the good things of being a leader. They rather focus on the bad and the worse. So, when an opportunity for a promotion presents, the position doesn’t sound appealing to the staff.

Strategy #5

Let your high potential employees know that while you're inviting them to take the next step, they can do it when they feel ready. If they want to make a career in your company, bring them under your wing and start developing them, at their own pace, until they get where they need to be.

Also, help them visualize what this position would bring for them, where it would take them five years from now, and how this will help them fulfill their goals and dreams.


Turn Things Around and Develop Leaders for your Organization!

As you can see, there’s a lot you can do to compensate for the misconceptions about the leadership roles in businesses.

If you have identified potential leaders and they refused you once, don’t give up! Inquire further to find out more why they declined the opportunity and what can you do to help them say yes.

It’s going to take work, commitment, follow-up, time, patience and love for your people for you to be able to solve this challenge. But it’s possible and the results are worth it!

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  • Are you the leader that your team is looking for?
  • Have you identified employees with strong leadership potential? How are you motivating them?
  • What can you do to prevent having burnout leaders and managers?
  • How can you improve yourself as a leader?