Growing New Leaders

As a leader what investment have you made in the future?  Have you taken the time to find people who have the potential to lead and worked to develop their skills?  All leaders leave a legacy and those with the best legacy have left behind people to carry on their vision.  Additionally, people love to work for leaders who are excited about the future, particularly the future of the people around them.  Creating a compelling vision of a bright future for others draws people to a leader, an organization or a cause.

When you develop the potential of the future leaders you are ensuring the future of your organization.  So how do you go about finding and developing the potential within your organization?

  1. Identify key traits.  Be clear on what leadership characteristics are important to your organization and its success.  Document what skills will be needed in leadership roles.
  2. Review the staff.  Have an annual succession planning session along with annual reviews.  Look for emerging leaders and how those identified previously have continued to grow.
  3. Engage people.  Ask your team what their career goals are and where they would like to go.  You might find that someone you have targeted for a position wants a completely different career path.
  4. Invest in development.  Once you have found the people who will benefit from leadership development spend the time and effort to help them grow their skills.  Provide training, mentoring, coaching and feedback to help them learn the skills they need to succeed.

The time to start developing leadership skills is really early in someone’s career.  Studies have shown that people are promoted into supervisory positions at 30 years of age and yet most people don’t receive leadership training until closer to 40 years old.  This means that there are people leading others without a fully developed skill set.  We rarely would put someone into a position without the technical skills needed, and yet it happens all too frequently with people or “soft” skills.  Helping people in their 20’s develop the skills to manage others will benefit your organization quickly.  They will become better and more engaged employees.  When moving into leadership positions, whether on team or in a department they will be more confident in their abilities and make fewer mistakes.

Most people leave companies because of their boss.  Making sure people are ready to assume a supervisory role will help reduce the turnover related to poor management.  Additionally, people who become bosses without the skills needed struggle more and their performance drops along with the performance of their team.

As a leader invest in the future of your organization by growing and developing the next generation on leaders.  Start early and see employee engagement and loyalty increase as well as turnover drop.  Let your legacy be seen in the strength of the leaders in the future.

How have you invested in the future of leadership?  Is your organization actively engaging the next generation of leaders?  Are you acting as a mentor to someone following in your footsteps?

If you would like to learn more about developing leadership potential in yourself or in members of your organization connect with me at or on Twitter @DoughertyCarol.  I help unlock the potential in the next generation of leaders.

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Filed under Leadership, Team Building

3 responses to “Growing New Leaders

  1. I concur with your point that most people leave companies because of their boss. That’s why I am an advocate for Uplifting Leadership. Far too few companies really invest in leader development which you point out is a key to developing the potential of the organization.

    • So true Dan. It’s sad to see companies who struggle and are confused by the lack of new leaders when they have done nothing to create that resource. It could be seen as similar to R&D. Time and money is needed to develop the future leaders.

  2. Pingback: The Best of Lead With Giants May 2013

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