Growing leaders within an organization is a great opportunity, but leadership is not developed overnight. It takes a long, steady process of coaching, mentoring and giving people a chance to excel. Current leaders must step up and mold the future of the organization.

Here are four tips to better help grow leaders within your organization.

1. Relationships

Relationships are an essential ingredient in helping to grow leaders within an organization. The connections that you make are critical, and they show insight as to who will be the best candidates for being leaders.

Giving employees opportunities will enable them to show initiative, and they will want to do more for not only themselves but also for the organization.

2. Communication

Listening to what your employees are saying is the greatest step a leader can take in defining who will be the next candidate for growth potential. Yes, there is a risk, but it is a risk worth taking.

Talk to your prospective candidates and define goals with good metrics so that the performance results will be realistic, obtainable and good for all concerned. Communication is a two-way street, so make not only the employee accountable, but also yourself. This will build creditability in the long run as both you and the employee will be more willing to work with you on future projects.

3. Mentoring

Look for talent within your organization. Motivate all your employees — even ones who are not candidates for leadership opportunities. Every person is of value to the organization.

However, volunteer to be a mentor to that person you feel will be a leader in the future. You will not only give them something of value, but they will also feel empowered, will want to give back and do better overall. Mentoring can be a life-changing experience, and give someone that extra boost that is needed to help him or her in their career.

4. Appreciation

Celebrate the achievements of your employees. Overall, if people are not appreciated enough, they will start looking elsewhere for new opportunities.

Say a genuine "thank you" for a job well done. People need to feel appreciated, and when they do, they will go the extra mile. Stay connected with your employees, and this will give you insight into how to help the organization be better for all.