3 Ways to Successfully Manage Potential Leaders

Leaders in a room international monetary fund

Yesterday, we gave you three reasons why you should hire more potential leaders than followers. As we mentioned, employees with great leadership skills are important assets to any business, regardless of whether or not they’re hired for leadership roles.

One fear most employers have is the potential to have “too many cooks in the kitchen” spoiling the “broth,” which can end up disrupting workplace productivity.

Fortunately, this can be avoided by taking the proper steps. To get your potential leaders in order and productivity running smoothly, here are a few ways to successfully manage your potential leaders. Take a look below: 

  • Don’t micromanage. All in all, micromanaging is something you should avoid doing with all of your employees. As for those with great leadership skills, just leave them alone and let them do exactly what you hired them to do. There is no doubt that they’ll take initiative to work hard and get things done. 

    Allowing them the ability to work on their own gives them the opportunity to be creative, push the limits on innovation, and feel in control of their own projects. This helps in preventing them from wanting to branch out to other companies who they believe will offer them more freedom to lead, as well as from feeling under-qualified and unappreciated for what they do.

  • Allow them room for progress. Those who are always looking to improve themselves and move up need to actually have room to do so. Always make sure that you are doing your best to make things personal for them, whether that means re-recruiting, giving them a little thanks, or allowing them to take the lead on certain projects to build/enhance their leadership skills. 

    We’re not saying you need to promote them right off the bat—but you should always be checking in on them and making sure they’re satisfied. Employee satisfaction is, after all, one of the most important ways to retain top talent.

  • Keep communication open. Make sure communication is always open on all levels. With so many potential leaders, there is always a chance that one or two might stray off the path you want, leading to some disastrous results. Avoid this by ensuring that everyone is in the know of what the team is doing. Collaboration is essential for success, and in case you find a stray, you can prevent things from going awry.

With these tips, you can manage your potential leaders the right way, giving you more time to be productive and run the company effectively and efficiently. Plus, you never know—when it comes time for your company to expand, having a talent pool already in your company can be a great benefit to your business.

photo credit: International Monetary Fund via photopin cc

Dealing with Difficult Clients (Part II)

Yesterday, we gave you part one of our two-part series on dealing with difficult clients, outlining several types of challenging clients you might come across such as the micromanager, the frequent mind-changer, and the “vague client,” or the client who doesn’t know what they want.

As we mentioned, dealing with a difficult client can put you as an employer in a tight spot. Not only can it be frustrating and possibly a waste of your time, it can also lead to employee dissatisfaction.

Now that you have an idea of what kind of challenging clients you might run into, here are a few ways you can deal with them. Take a look below:

Communicate frequently. Try to keep your client involved throughout the creative process. This prevents clients such as the mind-changer or the “vague client” from being unhappy with the work once you’ve already completed, and helps you avoid wasting your own company’s time.

Establish boundaries. The last thing you want to do with difficult clients, especially the micromanagers, is tell them you’ll do whatever it takes to make them happy. Not only can this put an extreme amount of stress on you and your team, it can also lead to too high of expectations from your client, which you know you can’t possibly meet.

In short, there is no problem with telling your client “no.” Being up front about what you can and cannot do helps to diffuse any potential crisis that could occur.

Alternatively, you could say “yes” to your client, but if you know that the work requires significantly more attention than normal, you shouldn’t be afraid to work out a new deal that includes this extra work.

Show them that you are there to help. Above all, when dealing with any client, difficult or not, be confident. You are the expert, which is why they hired you in the first place, so show them that you know what you are doing and that you are there to help them. Making them feel like you are there to help lessen the burden of what they need to have done will make things go much smoother for you and them.

When to let go

While not the most ideal solution, sometimes you just have to let go. Weigh the pros and cons of having that client around; if it looks like they’re taking more than they’re giving you in return–and causing a headache for you and your employees–then maybe it is time to say goodbye.

Explain to them that perhaps you’re just not right for the project or task. Just make sure you do it in a civilized manner, though; you always want to be on good terms with anyone you work with, even if things don’t work out.

No one wants a dissatisfied client, but forcing yourself to deal with them can potentially lead you to some bad results. These suggestions won’t help you with every last problem you encounter, but should certainly help get you on the right track.

Have you ever had a difficult client? How did you handle the situation? Share your story by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter!