How to Identify Emerging Leaders
You know who they are. They might be related to the owners of the business, they may be clearly identified up and comers, or they may not even know yet that they have leadership potential. Almost all companies have them, some just recognize them better than others. The opportunity that you have as a leader is to help recognize the potential in these folks and to provide a pathway for their development. Why? The first reason is that with the right opportunities, they could turn into your next stars, and the second reason is that if they do have the potential and you don’t provide that opportunity, they’ll leave and try their luck somewhere else.
Where are they now?
They are all around you. They could be on the production floor, in customer service, they might be operating digital or offset presses, or managing your storefront and e-commerce sites. Age doesn't matter. While the younger employees may seem more eager, don’t underestimate the desire of an experienced employee who perhaps never got a shot at doing more.
How can you tell?
These are the folks who are really engaged in what they are doing, and they like what they do and take pride in doing a great job every day. They ask "what if" a lot. They help others in their department without being asked to. They might also be the learners, always wanting to learn more and grow. They may be the ones who stop to pick up a piece of paper in the aisle, after everyone else has walked over it. Heck, they may also be the ones who tell you that they want your job — and that’s a good thing.
Steps that you can take
Look around, talk to your folks, ask leading questions, and get to know your team as well as you can. Once you’ve identified someone that you think has a desire to grow and may have leadership capabilities, give them different assignments or tasks, and things to think about that are outside of what they are currently responsible for. There are also a number of assessment tools that you could use, and although I won’t go into much detail here, I encourage you to take advantage of these to help validate your decisions and create a plan going forward. By opening this lane of opportunity, you’re really trying to determine if they have the desire to “reach up” and learn some new skills and contribute to their further growth, and the growth of your organization.
Your next leadership team
Cultivating your next leadership team is hard work and can seem like a distraction. But not working on this can also leave your organization with gaps in the skills and leadership your team needs to continue to build shareholder value. Whether you are a new CEO, or a seasoned professional, this is yet another task that should be on your radar screen. The challenge now is what steps will you take TODAY to identify and nurture the emerging leaders in your business?
Send me a note or leave a comment.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike Philie leverages his 28 years of direct industry experience in sales, sales management and executive leadership to share what’s working for companies today and how to safely transform your business. Since 2007, he has been providing consulting services to privately held printing and mailing companies across North America.
Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the graphic communications industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion, and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach.