03/18/17 By Jennifer Brown

Leadership continues to be a key focus of today’s management. Who are our leaders of tomorrow? How do we make sure they are ready to lead?

Waiting to move a high-potential employee into a leadership role when “the time is right” may not be the best strategy. The traditional way of assessing each person’s potential and then waiting until they are “ready” to lead is too slow. When growing tomorrow’s leaders, the focus should be on:

• agility,
• rapid talent mobility,
• continuous learning, and
• increased exposure to all facets of the corporation.

After all, perhaps the best way to learn anything is by doing it yourself with guidance. Here are a few things to consider when preparing your next leaders:

Provide hands-on learning experiences
One of the best ways to learn how to lead is to get the experience and exposure upfront. Leadership experiences don’t always come with a change in title. Providing the opportunity to take the lead on a department presentation, manage a small project, or lead a client meeting are great ways to begin.

Don’t throw them to the wolves
Give your leaders of tomorrow the opportunity to lead NOW. But don’t throw them to the wolves either or you risk burnout. Ensure they have the proper resources and guidance in place to succeed. 

The concept of a leader has evolved – make sure you do to
Today’s leaders are not looking to emulate the leadership styles of the past where leaders were seen as giving orders and managing from behind a desk. Instead, the great leaders of today are functioning more as mentors and coaches – inspiring and collaborating with their teams. Not just telling them what to do. Embrace this new way of thinking by encouraging your existing leaders to mentor others.

Re-think your leadership training programs
Putting education and training at the forefront will not only help groom your leaders of tomorrow, but will increase the chances they will stick around with you. Many of today’s employees feel their talents are not being utilized to the fullest, nor do they feel their companies are helping them grow in their career. Without continuous learning and development opportunities, these employees tend to jump ship. Without a commitment to learning within your organization, you run the risk of losing your best and brightest.

In summary, DON’T WAIT! Your leaders of tomorrow may be down the hall and you don’t even know it yet. The best way to see the leadership potential in someone is to give them opportunities to learn and lead. Why not get started today?

Need help with your leadership training and development initiatives? Email us or give us a call at 703-587-5615. We partner with our clients every day to ensure they have the structure in place to attract and retain the best talent to help grow their organization into the future. We are happy to do the same for you.


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