Conserve Resources by Cultivating Leadership from Within
Businesses excel when strong leaders can take charge and do what they do best – lead. But does the original source of this leadership make a difference? Should businesses be cultivating leadership from within or transporting it from outside sources?
While there are advantages and concerns with both options, we believe seeking, developing, and implementing leadership from within an organization provides unique benefits. Learn how exploring the skill sets of current employees can fulfill your company’s future leadership needs.
Benefits of Developing Leaders Internally
While you can always recruit leaders for your company from the outside world, promoting from within has several benefits.
- Saves resources – When growing your leadership team from within your company, there’s no need to comb through resumes or set time aside for multiple interviews (you can avoid these in other hiring situations with an applicant tracking system). Both money and time are saved when you avoid hiring from your internal leadership pool.
- Boosts employee morale – Other team members are encouraged when they see promotions happening from within as it lets them know they too can receive a promotion in time. This encouragement boosts engagement and productivity.
- Smoother transitions – Bringing on new team members is always risky, especially if they’ll be leading veteran employees. By rearranging responsibilities within the same team, there’s a higher chance of a seamless transition of power and a shorter learning curve yielding positive results.
- Increase retention – Employees often seek new roles because they grow stagnant in their current role or are seeking new challenges. Focus on developing high potential staff to assist in retaining top talent.
Cultivating leadership from within might mean taking a completely different approach than what you are used to, but the benefits over time can be well worth the effort.
Is Everyone a Potential Leader?
While every leader is an individual with unique attributes, there are certain characteristics and traits you should look out for when determining the best candidates for leadership positions. Look for team members who are:
- Effective communicators
- Great at decision-making
- Strong coaches
- Smart delegators
- Ethical and consistent
- Authentic and deliberate
- Honest and hardworking
You should also make sure there’s a willingness to lead. Even if a team member checks all the leadership boxes, they won’t be successful if they don’t feel a desire to lead. Once you find the ideal candidate, it’s important to know they’re probably not ready to lead just yet. First, you’ll need to help them hone their skills and develop their leadership style.
How to Cultivate Leaders
Once you’ve discovered potential leaders within your company, it’s time to nurture them. If you’re not sure where to begin, start with these tips.
- Create a leadership team. Put your current leadership members together and create a team that’s responsible for discovering and reaching out to potential leaders within your company. They’ll serve as a base camp for the leadership development process.
- Create a leadership program. Depending on your industry, work with your leadership team to put together a program for leaders in training. Whether training takes place online or on the job, make sure it’s properly preparing individuals for a variety of leadership tasks and situations.
- Provide timely feedback. Constructive feedback is a crucial element of leadership training. Your leadership team should provide routine feedback sessions as well as coach in the moment throughout training and beyond.
- Provide ample leadership opportunities. This final tip is the most important. The last thing you want to do is create strong leaders but constrain their growth. This could lead to them seeking opportunities outside your company. Your leadership team should focus on a retention program that provides guidance, support, and opportunity for new leaders.
Developing leaders is an ongoing process that requires your full commitment. Not all team members should be leaders, but failing to notice those who should be could have serious consequences. Cultivating leadership from within is a smart way to grow your business without wasting precious resources.
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