How to develop more leaders in 2017

As a manager, your New Year's resolution shouldn't be restricted to developing your own leadership skills. It also should include developing those of your staff.

To that end, a good way to develop more and better leaders this year is to relinquish control of meetings, says Harvard Business Review contributor Paul Axtell.

"When working with managers and executives, I'm often surprised at how many assume the leadership of the meeting falls to the highest-ranking person in the room. Granted, if it's a small group or a project-update meeting, managers and project leaders will want to take the lead for the sake of simplicity and time. But when a meeting will have eight or more participants and cover a variety of topics, it's valuable to think through who should design and lead the conversations -- and maybe it's not you," Axtell explains.

To decide who should lead your meetings, ask yourself who would benefit most from the experience.

"The ability to manage conversations is a crucial skill and as people on your team gain this experience it will build their reputation and influence. Leading meetings lets them exercise these muscles in the normal course of work, which is often more efficient and powerful than sending them to a training program," Axtell says. "Practicing with you in the room is ideal because it gives them the extra performance edge that comes with being watched, and it gives you the opportunity to observe and provide feedback that will enhance their development."



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