Emergent leaders: the MVPs of your organization

“To emerge” means to come into view, become apparent, important or prominent. Emergent is the adjective form of the word used to describe someone or something on the cusp of becoming.

How many emergent leaders do you have in your organization? I can promise you that right now yours has at least one, just waiting to come into view.

An emergent leader takes the shape of their organizational experiences. Have you taken the time not only to identify those team members who have the qualities to be great leaders but also to nurture them? Your organization’s corporate culture will help shape the kind of leader they will be. And emergent leaders can help shape your organization’s corporate culture into one that is inclusive, supportive and progressive.

While it is true that some people are “born leaders,” there are many other people who are born with the qualities that make a leader — they simply need the opportunity and encouragement to hone those skills. It is during this process, before a person becomes a leader, when organizations can play a critical role.

A company that recognizes both the many different leadership styles and the need for different styles will benefit greatly.

  • Transformational: “Transformational leadership is a leadership style in which leaders encourage, inspire and motivate employees to innovate and create change that will help grow and shape the future success of the company.”
  • Innovative: An innovative leader is one who has “the ability to form a vision around an idea or set of ideas.”
  • Inspirational: Inspirational leaders tend to garner the most attention. This is a leader who is able to energize and motivate employees by creating an energetic environment of purpose and change.

An organization can help its potential leaders emerge by providing and encouraging mentoring opportunities, ongoing training and development opportunities. This can also be accomplished by assigning more responsibility and then trusting employees to follow through.

However, a leader will not emerge simply because an organization provides opportunity for and encourages growth. Many people who possess leadership qualities never realize that potential. Yes, organizations can benefit greatly by nurturing the emergent leaders in their ranks. But it is up to the individuals to follow through, to embrace those opportunities.

For individuals to emerge successfully, they need to recognize these truths:

  • Power is nothing unless you turn it into influence.
  • Your management style is established by how you use your power.
  • It’s one thing to achieve power; it’s another to exercise it well.
  • Tap into what makes you great as an individual — let your inner self shine.
  • Develop your personal style.
  • Trust your own thoughts and ideas.
  • Express with confidence.

Organizations that strive to nurture and develop leaders will be able to retain talent. They’ll be better equipped to handle change and disruption. And, as a result, they’ll be better positioned for sustainable success. How are you helping your emergent leaders?

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