What’s an Emergent Leader and How Do You Develop Them?

To understand who is an emergent leader, just think of “bubbling up.” As in bubbling up to the top. That conveys an organic process.

A leader who becomes a leader organically is in contrast to one who is assigned, or promoted by the authorities in charge. We’re talking about regular workers or performers whom others rally around and support and follow for whatever reason.

If management is not paying attention and noticing such emerging individuals, they miss the chance to formalize the informal. Besides, you should want to fill leader roles with those already in the company as much as possible. This is why smart, successful companies make sure their employees level up their management skills through leadership development training and courses.

After all, “let the workforce rise” is a powerful and compelling mantra every executive team should beat the drum to.

One of the best ways to encourage and prepare a proper environment and culture for leaders to emerge is to reward risk taking, failure, innovation, and creativity. This is much harder to do than it seems.

Also, build a habit of sharing work. Sometimes all it takes is visibility into what others are doing in order for people to rally around someone.