The old mindset of how to identify a new leader has changed. Due to technology advancements, geographical influences, and financial and people demands, there is a need for a new type of leader. Many companies are having a difficult time finding and developing the right ones.
How do you identify the future leadership for your company? How do you develop them?
First, Identify and Qualify Them
Competence. Are they results producers? Where is the gap in the skills they currently have and what is required? Do they have the people savvy to talk and work with anyone, anywhere, at any time?
Qualified Assessments. Use them. Start now. They help uncover what you don’t know about a person—the kind of information that can come back to haunt you. Due to their incredible accuracy, qualified assessments are invaluable in helping guide the development of future leaders in your company.
Oust Biases. Identify your own biases and set them aside. This practice is the only way you will identify future leaders in a new business era.
A business owner was having a hard time hiring the right person to take over running his company. He had failed several times. His bias was to hire people he liked who had the right title and came with the right connections. If they had a one-time winning experience, that helped too. Unfortunately, using these biases as criteria for a leader does not translate into actually being able to effectively run and build a financially successful company!
Don’t Promote Too Soon. This is a company’s biggest hidden expense. When managers promote someone who is not ready, lacks the resilience to handle challenges or conflicts, or does not have the interest in developing the skills to be a leader (regardless of what they tell you), they leave. Often, they take training skills and materials, clients and key contact lists, proprietary information and key employees with them when they go. Use incremental titles to help keep Millennials who are impatient to get ahead.
Second, Develop Them
Recognize Lone Rangers. Many leaders refuse to take advice. These DIYers will take the company and management team down with them rather than ask for help. Provide them board and management team training designed to teach them how to work with and through others, manage conflicting opinions and execute changes. If they are unwilling to participate, look now for a different future leader.
Preparation. Assign them team projects and have them participate in trade association events and boards. Include them in high-level discussions and ask their opinions. This will help them understand there is more to leadership than having a title. They will either relish the opportunities or dread them. Do not overlook their readiness to assume the next leadership role.
The Right Coaching. The laser-like ability to develop talent is a critical skill many current leaders, executives and business owners do not have. Provide key employees with an internal mentor and an external coach to help groom them as future leaders. Help establish attainable goals for each quarterly coaching program and check in to ensure they are on the right track.
Delegate Projects. Provide written expected outcomes, a budget and team members for the projects you delegate. Check on progress weekly and ensure situations, people and outcomes are not being overlooked. Remember, success is a process of working through issues, not an event where results magically occur.
What If Internal Candidates Are Not Ready?
There may come a time when you need to bring in someone from the outside to get the company on track and build future internal leaders. The problem is where to look. One option is finding a current executive, but they are often happy in their current job and must be promised job security to move. Another option is a consultant, but they are often overlooked because they have gray hair. Other factors could be candidate biases or that they are only willing to work part-time. Ask your network for introductions. Ensure the new leader is able to develop a successful succession plan, work past family business or existing succession plan biases, and navigate internal company politics. Don’t forget to negotiate a win-win exit plan for them when the internal candidates are ready.
©Jeannette Seibly, 2017
What are you waiting for? We’re on day three of the next quarter! The question is, are you in action to accomplish your 2017 goals? If not, why not? If you are stuck, contact Jeannette Seibly. She will provide you the insight required for you to move forward powerfully!
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Jeannette Seibly has been a business advisor and executive coach for 24 years; along the way, she’s guided the creation of three millionaires. She is laser sharp at identifying the leverage points that will take a business and its team to the next level of performance and success. She also has extensive experience coaching leaders and future leaders for unprecedented results. Check out her website , or contact Jeannette for a free confidential conversation. Need a presenter who engages your audience? Remember to get your copy of her 5th and newest book, It’s Time to Brag! Business Edition.