The best leadership teams are composed of a healthy dose of talented employees, where leaders have learned and developed knowledge that has naturally come from growing within the company.
The challenge here for companies that depend on promoting from within is that they must be adept at developing such leaders. Inability to do it means the company’s either being forced to promote weak managers or being left with no choice but to acquire new ones.
Part of a CEO’s job is to guide the way for the upcoming quarter century. With this in mind, all long-term strategy that doesn’t include a good investment in the next generation of leaders in the business misses a key ingredient. Here’s how you can create your offices’ next leadership team.
Commit to it before starting. Starting this initiative is easy. Going through it? Not so much. There are two types of people. Those that dive in without thinking and those who plan ahead their course before beginning the first step. Leadership development entails the second way as it makes your development program more efficient in timing, curriculum, format and selection process.
Your program won’t be flawless nor does it need to be. A good leadership development program flourishes your organisation beyond just the information learned. It gives excitement to your organisation that promoting from within isn’t only a possibility but also a goal. Moreover, you’ll see how these programs further improve leadership knowledge even outside your offices’ walls.
Stay consistent. While starting is a crucial step, establishing the rhythm and frequency of your program is also important. Regardless, a random or infrequent leadership seminar or course may be better than none at all, but it’s better when you allow a program to build momentum. You can forgo annual leadership retreat in favour of monthly instruction.
You must also pass down your organisation’s leadership values. If you’re going to hire outside instructors to teach your workforce about leadership, choose a provider that understands how your business works as well as its core philosophies.
Have deep conversations with your team. Most leaders are able to quickly identify standouts on their teams. Regardless, huddle with your team to determine who the best candidates for enrollment are.
Leadership development programs shouldn’t be a ticket into the executive suite, but a way to help qualify future promotions. With this in mind, cast off a wide net in the early stages of your employee’s careers. These types of program are designed to prepare leaders for the future, not simply enlist “ready-made” leaders.
You might think that a charismatic, outgoing, and star performer is the obvious choice to enrol, but never overlook the thoughtful, reserved, and under-the-radar people who could transform themselves into leaders with the right encouragement and guidance.
After making the decision to move forward with a leadership development program and choose participants, it’s time to either do it on your own or ask assistance from a third-party consultant.
The question about “what is leadership?” is best undertaken by the combination of your office management’s effort as well as a dedicated program that will help you discover leadership capabilities in your workforce and train them as necessary.
Take note that no organisation can have too many qualified leaders, and you can never know if it will be necessary to replace, add, or promote an employee. The organisations that are focused on the development of their next generation of leaders will be prepared for anything.