We are now entering the last weeks of campaigning for the Labour Party Leadership with all candidates talking about new forms of leadership for the future. What are you doing to develop your own future leaders?
Key pointers for grooming future leaders:
* Hire smart: rather than wasting time trying to get recruits to share your values, hire potential leaders who already share them, and springboard from there
* Match criteria to corporate goals: The criteria against which leaders are to be measured should be determined by the values of the company itself; for example, is your aim to be the biggest or the best?
* Set stretch goals: Set their sights high to encourage them to ‘think outside the box’; enable them to see what is possible, not what has been done before
* Give them latitude to manoeuvre: Remove bureaucratic reporting requirements and procedural niceties; focus on results and learning from mistakes; reward ‘do-ability’ and action
* Keep the criteria in context: For example, a sine qua non for a business which is global in nature is to expect future leaders to have some understanding or experience of the global business environment - an annual three week freebie to a foreign trade fair doesn’t really count
* Introduce mentoring: the aim is to stretch and test the ‘protégé’ on the one hand, and to guide and teach on the other
* Tailor the training: Don’t teach them followership i.e. ‘do as we do’; the key is to teach them to tap the leadership potential that is already there, and to encourage them to think for themselves
* Let go of the apron strings: Mostly this is done today by job rotation i.e. moving future leaders through functions, roles and jobs, from one division to another; after all the guidance and development, it is the modern company’s way of letting them spread their wings.
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