Three reasons why you may be struggling to develop leaders in your business.
Your business is not currently in growth mode. Now we all know that in business, you're either growing, you're dying, or you're stagnant. A lot of people might say all we're not staying that we just have chosen to stay this size. Which is fine if you're not planning on doing anything else the rest of the time that you're in business. Because here's the truth, if you're just hanging out at the same level, you haven't grown any but you haven't declined any. Your competitors are all growing and growing aggressively. So the chances are they'll start to take away the business that you currently are relying on just to stay steady. You need to be in a growth mode. The other reason might be is that you are in growth mode but all the current leaders in your organization are years away from retiring. So emerging leaders in your organization when they look around to see if there are there any growth opportunities here for me, see all these people who are never going to retire. And think “omigosh I'll never get a promotion here. There's no sense in me even focusing on growing my leadership skills,” or if they're super motivated, they leave and go somewhere else to grow.
Here's what you can do if this is the case. Number one if your organization is not currently in growth mode. Come up with some strategies to get that ball rolling again even if it's little growth and little opportunities it gets people excited about the potential. If you have a bunch of leaders who are years away from retiring start doing projects where emerging leaders can take the lead and get that experience to help them build confidence. It says to them hey this company cares about me and cares about my growth and development and future opportunities. They will think I'm going to be ready when there is somebody who retires or gets a promotion and or something else.
The second reason that you might be struggling to develop leaders inside your organization is you treat leadership development like a one-and-done that means you send somebody to one class on leadership and “oh my gosh I sent him to that class they should be a leader,” and that's not the way that leadership works. It's actually more of transformational learning which means that you have to invest in the long-term. You might have a plan that says hey the next five years, this is how leadership development happens in our organization. You will still want to invest in classes that are just one day or conferences and things like that because those do two things for you.
They plant seeds that can start the person thinking about ways that they can show up differently in the world.
It makes the employee feel like you are investing in them and it gives them a sense that hey this company believes in me, they think I have something to offer, and they think I'm a good investment.
All right, the third reason that you might be struggling to develop leaders inside your organization is your current leaders are not skilled. A lot of what we learn about leadership we learn by watching other leaders lead. Seeing what they do well and what they don't do well. Some people have discernment so they can tell when the leader is not doing something well and they choose not to emulate that person. But if they decided to emulate your grouchy leader, then all of a sudden you have a whole business full of Grouchy grumpy leaders.
So the first thing I think you should do if you're thinking about developing leaders in your organization is take a step back and look at your current leadership team with a really critical eye.
Look at how they lead.
How are they interacting with people, both your customers, your employees and their peers?
Are they good leaders are they people that you would want everybody in your company to behave like. If that is the case, then celebrate but if it's not then you need to talk to those leaders and start them on the process of developing their leadership skills. That way they can have a good impact on your organization.
Then take one step back further and this is the tough one. Take a look at yourself, are you the type of leader that you would want to have other people leading inside of your organization just like you? And if it's not then, you need to do some of that work and it's not going to be a fast and easy process change is not usually super fun or super fast. But if there are changes that you need to have in your organization because you want to take yourself to the next level, then you need to figure it out.
Questions to ask:
- Is our company growing and offering leadership opportunities?
- Do I need to change some of my leadership skills and behaviors?
- Does my current leadership team need to change some of theirs??
- Do I need to invest in leadership development as a long-term game instead of just the short-term?
- And is my company growing and focused on the long-term gains that we can get from developing leaders inside of our organization?