There is a lot of literature written about leadership. In fact, if you go to Amazon and do a search on leadership you will probably find anywhere from 25,000-40,000 books on leadership. So why aren’t there better leaders in the world? Many of them get there accidentally.
How many of us have seen situations where we worked in organizations where a salesperson has been absolutely spectacular at what they do, so good that they get promoted to being sales manager and then the situation occurs where they struggle and they don’t produce the spectacular results that they had had before? The company hadn’t thought about this before they actually put them in the role. It is really important to think about this because what happens is the impact of doing that is that the salesperson, now a sales manager, and the company loses the capability of that and the sales and then because the person is not quite in that sales manager role and doesn’t have an idea of what it is like to be that sales manager they are not effective at that. So they have lost a salesperson, they have lost a manager who is not quite effective, and then the team suffers as well. So there is a huge impact around what happens when it is not thought about clearly the path for a person to become a leader in an organization.
So in my experience what organizations need to do is actually start thinking about what kind of leadership do you need for the future? What kind of capacity do these people need to have? Who might they be? Once you sort that out you are able to look and say, “Ok, so Bob over here is really good at this so let’s start talking to him about the possibility of becoming a leader in about 12 month’s time,” and you start creating a leadership pipeline and then you start creating the leaders of tomorrow. When I work with organizations the key here is to start thinking about that 12 months, maybe even 18 months in advance. Start thinking about your leadership needs in the organization and then start developing people in the capacities. Identify their gaps (I have a series of assessments that I work with people to identify gaps) so we can put them on a track, the transition track, to transition them from being an individual contributor to being a people leader or a leader of people so that you can minimize the business impacts that it has on those three different roles, the new manager not being able to produce what he used to produce in his role, the manager, and then the impact on the people. You find that just thinking about this in advance, putting a leadership pipeline together, and starting to work through the talent that you have got in the organization with that transition plan produces fantastic outcomes for organizations.