“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves”. – Ray Kroc
The most successful companies don’t hire their leaders—they grow their own. In a Forbes study of America’s 100 largest companies, 86% of CEOs were promoted from within a company’s ranks. While there will be times when your organization will need to conduct an outside search for a high-level position, it’s far more effective to build a deep and enduring bench from within so your most talented people can be promoted when the roles become available. Here are seven proven ways to grow strong leadership from within your company.
- Don’t be short-sighted. Developing an effective leadership succession plan is a long-term investment. It doesn’t happen overnight—it can take months or even years to build a pool of quality talent. The best companies understand that and work at developing their people at every level of the organization. Growing your internal leadership requires patience and adaptability, but taking a long-term approach will ultimately benefit your organization.
- Recognize good employees.There’s nothing quite like the pride that comes from a job well done. Encourage excellence from your future leaders by consistently acknowledging them when they perform above and beyond expectations. The recognition will build morale while creating a culture that teaches future leaders that their workplace appreciates their hard work.
- Encourage passion. Developing great leaders starts with hiring great people who are skilled in their field and possess a real passion for what they do. The best leaders inspire others to action, and they do that through their own passion and drive. How well you develop the passion in your future leaders may very well be the biggest factor in the success of your business.
- Invest in education and training. Another key to developing your future leaders is to provide them with the education and training needed to fill those big shoes. That may mean webinars, conferences, classes, or other tools to help them refine their leadership skills. Whatever it takes, don’t hesitate to invest in the education of your team.
- Challenge them regularly. Leaders face challenges every day, and the way they work to overcome those trials has a major impact on their success. High-potential future leaders should be pushed outside of their comfort zones regularly to help them build resilience, develop problem-solving skills, and grow their confidence. Part of this process involves learning to deal with failure, another invaluable component of effective leadership.
- Cultivate their networking skills. Business is all about relationships, so it’s essential that your future leaders learn to network effectively. Create opportunities for them to build relationships with colleagues they don’t know well, especially people outside of their current team. As their networking skills improve, encourage them to attend community- and industry-wide events. Eventually, send them in your stead to represent your company.
- Lead by example. It won’t cost you a dime but you’ll be paid back ten-fold. Be a model leader for your employees. Be professional, transparent, ethical, supportive, and treat all of your employees well. The leadership skills you want to see in your workforce should be the same ones they see in you every day.
Regardless of your company’s size, developing great leaders deserves your attention and investment. It will pay off handsomely down the road in the way of deriving the most value from your workforce and giving you a competitive edge.
The HR Team has decades of experience helping companies like yours unlock the potential of their employees at every level of the organization. We’d be delighted to help you, too. Please contact us to learn more about our HR consulting services including manager coaching and guidance.
About The HR Team: Founded in 1996, The HR Team is a Maryland-based human resources outsourcing firm committed to developing strategic, customized solutions that respond to the unique needs and cultures of organizations of all types and sizes. Available as a one-source alternative to an in-house HR department or on an à la carte project basis, the company’s flexible service models address the full spectrum of HR needs that many organizations struggle to address. The HR Team helps clients achieve their highest level of success by providing value-driven human resources services that leave them time to focus on what they do best: directing business growth and profitability. To learn more about The HR Team, call 410.381.9700 or visit www.thehrteam.com.