Building a Bench of Leaders Crucial to Company, Beyond
Who’s Lining Up for Leadership Roles in Your Organization?
Regardless of whether you’re leading a for-profit or non-profit entity, building and strengthening the depth of leadership within your organization is critical. Critical, not only for the long-term health and well-being of your entity, but for the socio-economic infrastructure of the many “communities” your business touches.
Starting with the direct and indirect economic impact, your organization has financial influence on employees, customers and vendors, and the places where they spend money. Your organization also influences areas of community infrastructure like healthcare, education, utilities, and government.
Basically, your organization’s reach adds to the responsibilities of running and growing a business. And, it’s fair to say there is a lot more at stake than most people realize. The responsibility is huge. This, in part, is why business leaders feel they are so challenged when it comes to finding that right person to take over the reigns.
Take a look over your shoulder
Who’s lining up to step in to your role when you decide to slow down the pace or retire? And, what about other key leadership positions in your business? Are there understudies being groomed for those positions?
Jack Welch said – Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader success is all about growing others. That doesn’t mean every employee needs to grow into a leader. Leaders cannot lead if there is no one to follow them. But, every employee should be coached, mentored and/or trained on leadership skills.
Help every one of your employees add value to the organization. Otherwise, they may just be showing up for the paycheck.
A little Velcro goes a long way
Investing in the growth of all employees is an investment in the growth of your entire organization. Consider an “each one teach one” concept in your business. Have 2 people from different departments spend one half-day per month shadowing each other. Repeat this exercise throughout the business. The learning and insights for everyone will be priceless.
Food for thought
Building and strengthening leadership within an organization is considered a key part of succession planning. Finding and growing the best talent to support a succession plan, can be a very arduous and lengthy process. Don’t wait until your exit strategy is in full view, or other leaders start dropping hints about retirement. By then, it’s too late.
To help you gain a clearer perspective, use the following exercises to help you take action.
Hire for the right reasons
If your organization does a great job of hiring, chances are you’ll find it easier to grow people into leadership roles. Don’t insult your “A” players by hiring people just to fill a position. Hire as if your organization’s survival depends on making the right selections – because it does!