Sunday, March 29, 2015

Are your Future Leaders Prepared?

The leadership is complex; the future of leaders have to deal with opposing views, cultures, constraints and competitions.

Business competition is fierce at digital age. Successful companies need to grow and innovate; investing in and developing the next generation of leaders and talent is one of the best ways to do that. Businesses, are your future leaders prepared though?

Leadership development is strategic imperative: Leadership development, especially for large corporations is not only a continuous process but also one which has a high focus on the top management. There is a surging demand for training future leaders, the current need is related to the realization that the gap is widening between boomers and the next group of workers. Whether this is related to just the generation gap or because companies are still being impacted by the no-hire policies of the recession, they are now recognizing the need to prepare employees for the not so distant future. Until there is enough sponsorship from the top most echelon the organizations cannot get the desired results. Succession planning, reviewing the current talent and talent pipeline, building very clear time-bound action plans for the current and pipeline is extremely important. Goes without saying, this has to be reviewed at regular intervals.

Bridging the leadership mindset gap: Organizations not only need good managers to take care of today’s business; but also have to grow the future leaders to leapfrog their companies for long-term prosperity. But what are those leadership development gaps and how to mind them? Typically, candidates for leadership roles have come from the ranks of function. While this may contribute to the mantra of 'promoting from within,' it is decidedly narrow-minded. When promotion opportunities occur, those whose performance is excellent are signaled out as the next supervisor, manager, director, or above. The problem is that their performance was based on their ability to execute the things; not based on their strategizing potential to move the business to the next level. Further, of these people are termed 'high potential' or 'hipo' by senior leaders and put on a fast track to senior leadership. These programs can be noticeably lacking. Lacking because most 'leaders' develop their skill sets over years of experience, trial and error, making mistakes, and then, perhaps they have a 'book of knowledge' that is rooted in the right mind setting.

Leadership development has to be integrated with all other policies and procedures: The key to organizational success is to integrate next generation of leaders, tap into their way of looking at the world, solving problems in very collaborative working style. By tapping into this next generation of leaders, supporting them in leading projects and giving them responsibilities early on our organizations will have a better chance to stay relevant. In addition, leadership development has to be integrated with all other policies and procedures. It starts at the hiring process, needs to be linked to company culture, mission, vision, and values, and of course, there is a direct link to performance management.

The business is complex, the world is complex, and leadership is complex, the future of leaders have to deal with opposing views, cultures, constraints and competition. They are able to influence perception into a positive movement of the followership to reach a shared vision, make a positive impact on their organizations and beyond. Organizations, are your future leaders ready?


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