Do you have a “leadership pipeline” established? A leadership pipeline develops internal talent, so when team structure changes or you need to fill a gap, you may already have the right person on board.
Internally training your employees to become future leaders will reduce the need and stress of looking externally should a leadership void arise.
This type of planning also encourages and motivates employees to stay on at a company. Everyone wants opportunity to grow and know with great performance comes more opportunities and responsibilities.
Investing time and energy in leadership succession planning may:
- Eliminate external hiring needs
- Improve internal leadership
- Motivate employees
- Improve team performance
- Retain top-performers
- Create a clear career path
Here’s how to start building a leadership pipeline in your organization.
1. Look for potential.
Keep an eye out for people who are:
- Good communicators
- Team players
- Able to make tough decisions
Perspective is an important leadership trait, as it allows individuals to see the bigger picture, not just what’s in front of their face. They can foresee future roadblocks and adjust their actions to mitigate risk.
2. Give them “practice runs.”
Let team members take low-stakes leadership responsibilities, such as running a meeting, giving a presentation or helping a client.
Based on their performance and how they handle the situation, you can up the ante and continue to offer new and “bigger” responsibilities.
3. Develop their skills.
Be a mentor and coach. Help team members become their best selves by imparting important lessons, skills and wisdom from your own experiences.
Think of what you would have liked to know when you were in their position, and use this information to inform your mentoring.
Talk through challenges and different ways to approach difficult situations. Be a resource for information and guidance.
4. Be transparent.
If your goal is to transition a team member into a leadership position, give them a glimpse into the realities of the position.
Let them shadow you, and explain the ins and outs of what you do. Why do you make certain decisions? How do you prioritize your work? How do you manage others?
A more realistic look into the day-to-day operations of leadership will shed light on just how “ready” or willing a team member is.
Don’t shy away from also showing the not so nice parts, too, and personal areas of growth. Ask them questions about what they think if they have recommendations and what their uncertainties are.
We Can Help
Leadership succession-planning is ultimately about communication. Do you have a leadership pipeline established in your company?
Have a gap in leadership? Ask us about our Executive Talent Solutions that include Fractional, Gap ™ and Surge ™ CIO leadership.