When executives think of the word leader, they may think of someone who is alone in their role – a chief executive officer, a senior manager or a project leader, for example. However, the fact of the matter is that businesses can really benefit by having multiple leaders, even if only a couple of leadership positions exist. This will help them bolster the autonomy of their workforce and gives firms more options in case one person steps down or moves to a new role – they will instantly be able to find a replacement.

Huffington Post contributor Stedman Graham made a deft observation when he proclaimed there are far too few leaders in the world. The more leaders there are, the more reliable and effective an organization can become, whether we are talking about a family, a startup or a billion-dollar corporation. The saying “too many chefs in the kitchen” does not apply when it comes to leadership.

Developing new leaders
Actual leadership starts with the self. Leadership is not a genetic trait, it is something that people have to accept within themselves and believe they can become. Once people believe they can become leaders, they can begin working on that skill and developing it further. However, if they cannot lead themselves, they will not be able to lead others, which is why it is important to foster that self-confidence first.

“Identity leaders are competent, capable, confident, and self-aware people who practice self-directed, effective, self-inspired leadership,” Graham added. “They are leaders who bring out the best in others, by mindfully cultivating and expressing the best parts of themselves. People must lead themselves before they can even think about leading others.”

Businesses themselves can support people along their leadership journey by helping them better understand how to work with others and get things done. Leadership training can benefit anyone, helping them better understand how to work with others and get things done. This is beneficial not only for working with teams internally or a project on a day-by-day basis, but also in improving workers’ ability to assume leadership job positions as they open in the future.

A company should not assume that only CEOs or senior managers need to know how to lead, it is a crucial ability for anyone from tenured frontline workers all the way up to executives.

The dearth of leaders
Can organizations really have that many problems finding the right people to lead within their companies? One recent report from DDI World suggested that was a major problem that many businesses faced. As few as 15 percent of companies felt they had a strong lineup of potential leadership candidates in case they lost someone in a management role.

By running select employees through leadership programs and training these skills beforehand, leadership may be less of a problem in the future.