Future leaders

Nurture the emergent leaders in your company

One area of leadership that we’ve long considered as part of our culture is the concept of emergent leadership. Emergent leadership is where an employee may not have an appointed leadership role, but shows potential, skill and motivation to take on responsibilities outside the scope of their position.

Employees who embody these qualities are more engaged, show more passion for their work, exhibit more autonomy in decision-making and have the entrepreneurial spirit that we value so highly. They demonstrate discretionary effort, capably performing the duties of their roles while showing an interest and aptitude for problem-solving in areas outside of their specific training. They display a commitment to the company and a connection to their colleagues and customers.

At Jarrett, we strive to cultivate this type of employee. Our vision — to be the best by inspiring innovation and encouraging our people to do great things for our customers every day — in addition to our core values and mission, contribute to a culture that enables an emergent leader to flourish. This goes hand-in-hand with our model of hiring job candidates with integrity, an eagerness to learn and willingness to collaborate.

We promote four pillars of wellness at Jarrett — physical, emotional, social and spiritual — and all work together to create a balanced, engaged employee. We encourage our people to engage in activities that develop self-esteem and camaraderie among their peers. This enhances their sense of well-being; they feel empowered to step out of their comfort zone and make suggestions, and approach their job with energy, passion and the support of their co-workers.

When a position opens up or is newly created, these are the employees who naturally advance in rank. Morale within the department is maintained and even heightened because co-workers are not surprised or envious — they have witnessed the hard work, determination and extra effort the candidate put forth. This promotes team development and interaction, the alignment of goals, and a strong work ethic.

I have read and heard the complaints that some of my peers have leveled at some young professionals — that they are lazy, undisciplined and obsessed with instant gratification. I have not found this to be true with those at Jarrett. They exhibit a desire to have a connection with their job, co-workers and our customers. They want to know that their job is important; that they’re part of something bigger. They believe in our mission and vision statements and exemplify the characteristics of our core values.

So how can you nurture the emergent leaders in your company? Begin by promoting your core values, mission and vision statements. Don’t just post them on a wall. Demonstrate their importance every day in the way you conduct business. Provide opportunities for team-building and cross-training. Map out and discuss the lifecycle of the position to determine if the employee sees him- or herself in that role, or whether they actually have a set of skills better-suited for a different position. Provide employee incentives and perks that keep your employees excited and content. And allow opportunities for your people to branch out of their regular roles and contribute. You may be surprised at the future leaders right under your nose.

Both of Michael Jarrett’s companies have won numerous awards, including the Weatherhead 100, Cascade Capital Growth Award, Inc. 500/5000, The Entrepreneurial Edge Award and NEO Success Award.