It’s a common challenge for forward-thinking organizations: How do you keep the best candidates for leadership roles in the company? On one hand, fast-tracking individuals could leave them feeling stressed and unprepared, but at the same time, moving too slowly could frustrate potential leaders, causing them to look for opportunities elsewhere.
Change management; leadership training: In our view, it’s one and the same. So how do you become a conduit for leadership? By making leadership more of a strategy and less of a one-time thing, you can easily spot the potential leaders and give them the responsibility they crave. Here’s how.
The Leadership Pipeline
In order to be a conduit for leadership opportunities, your organization needs to be dedicated to giving the right candidates time to shine. That means finding great leaders from within your company, rather than looking to onboard new leaders to fix your change management issues.
As a leadership pipeline, your organization recognizes not every candidate is a great leader. In fact, some are better managers, or poised to fill other roles. The conduit to leadership opportunities sparks when you’re able to identify those people who inspire others, delegate well, and treat their roles with passion. Those are the types of candidates that should advance along the pipeline to leadership success.
Leadership as a Process
One of the cardinal sins organizations often make when addressing change management and leadership training is treating both as a one-time event. A few candidates might attend a conference or training session, but it’s nowhere near enough to prepare them for true leadership opportunities. Instead, modern businesses should be treating leadership training as process. By identifying, grooming, and training the right individuals, the best leaders stay firmly entrenched and are more likely to stay on track to eventually become driving forces within the business.
Don’t think of it as teaching people to become good leaders; think of it as teaching leaders how to become great leaders. Those individuals with the aptitude to lead are usually pretty visible: You’ll find them organizing projects, volunteering to take on more responsibility, and delivering time and time again. Use leadership to draw out leadership skills in the people with a natural aptitude for the roles.
Curating Leadership Content
Leadership training doesn’t always require native content. Sure, some facets of the role may require details specific to your organization. But most leadership training can be culled and curated from resources already available to you online, through courses and conferences. Why create your own content when a TED Talk can say it better?
Whether it’s a leadership program from a well-known torch bearer or an online course that learners can take on their own time, consider yourself a curator–not a creator –of leadership content. You can tweak and apply different skills and techniques as necessary for your unique business, but the rest can be left to the experts.
Keeping leaders in your company is about making sure you take the proper steps to be a conduit for leadership. By constantly identifying and advancing potential leaders down the leadership pipeline, you’re less likely to lose great candidates to your competition–while reaping the benefits for your own organization.