Developing a robust pipeline of good leaders in the workplace is key to making organizations more successful. Good leaders help teams perform at a higher level. Additionally, having a ready supply of potential leaders can make companies resilient against turnover and other market shocks.
However, developing leaders is no small task. Good leaders don't magically appear when needed; companies must actively seek and develop them. To turn individuals into leaders, organizations need to plan and make efforts by providing ongoing support, training, and guidance. This approach applies both before and after hiring or promoting someone to higher positions with more responsibility.
How to Develop Good Leaders
- Choose leaders for the right reasons
- Individualize leadership development
- Provide sufficient support
- Prioritize your leaders' mental health
As former football coach and National Football League executive Vince Lombardi famously stated, "Leaders are not born; they are made.” So, how can organizations effectively develop good leaders?
1: Choose leaders for the right reasons.
We've already talked about this in our first article, "Making Good Managers Part 1: How to Choose the Right Leaders." However, it’s worth repeating: to develop good leaders, you must begin by selecting people with high leadership potential. This strategic approach ensures a strong foundation for future leadership growth and success within the organization.
Unfortunately, most of the time, people choose leaders for the wrong reasons. Gallup research stated that "82% of the time, managers are selected for the wrong reasons. These reasons include tenure, success in another role, rather than the ability to manage people well.” Instead, look for leaders who are highly talented at leadership and related skills.
2: Understand leadership development is not one-size-fits-all.
At a certain point, the tactics that help cultivate leaders en masse will reach a point of diminishing returns. At that point, it becomes necessary to work with each manager individually to leverage their personal strengths effectively. That individualized process will likely include coaching, mentorship, and other forms of support aligned with each leader’s capabilities.
An individualized approach can pay dividends. Gallup also found that more than 90% of people who receive strength-based interventions experienced significant improvements in their workgroups. These improvements include:
- Sales increase of 10% to 19%
- Profit increase of 14% to 29%
- Employee engagement increase of 9% to 15%
3: Provide adequate support.
Managers who lack support, resources, or guidance are more likely to fail compared to those who receive proper organizational backing. The support needed can vary according to circumstances and the needs of the leader and their team.
In some cases, for example, it might mean training managers in skills related to leadership. In other cases, it might mean providing logistical and material support to managers and teams. This includes providing support such as the tools and infrastructure they need to succeed in their roles.
4: Attend to your leaders’ mental health.
Don’t brush aside the psychological dimensions of leadership: being a leader can be emotionally and mentally taxing, even overwhelming. Leaders, like other team members, can also experience burnout. Additionally, the team often tasks leaders with carrying the weight of its frustrations and other psychological difficulties.
In other words, a good leader goes beyond being a manager; they become a mentor, confidante, and at times unofficial counselor. It is important to make sure leaders do not endure any negative consequences from taking on additional responsibilities. Coaching, mentorship, and mental health benefit offerings can all help.
Developing strong leaders is crucial for organizations to thrive. Good leaders not only improve team performance but also strengthen the company's ability to handle challenges like turnover and market shocks. Creating effective leaders requires intentional effort and support; they are not simply born but made through deliberate development.
To build a strong pool of good leaders, companies must focus on selecting individuals based on their leadership potential. Superficial factors like tenure or past success should not be the primary consideration for choosing future leaders. Tailoring leadership development to each person's unique strengths and needs is essential, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Individualized coaching, mentoring, and support can lead to significant improvements in workgroups.
Providing ample support for managers and their teams is vital for their success. This involves offering leadership training and ensuring they have the necessary resources to excel in their roles. Additionally, organizations must prioritize the mental well-being of their leaders, as leadership roles can be emotionally demanding. Offering support systems, coaching, and mental health benefits can help leaders manage their responsibilities effectively.
Investing in the development and support of good leaders helps organizations create a thriving work environment that fosters growth and success for both leaders and their teams.
Read more from the 'Making Good Managers' Series!
Explore the "Making Good Managers" series to uncover a wealth of valuable insights on leadership development. The comprehensive series covers the key aspects of developing leaders, tailored to the needs of business owners like you.
Learn about identifying high-potential candidates, fostering diverse perspectives, and enabling problem-solving skills. Find the keys to building a robust leadership pipeline and driving long-term success in today's ever-changing business landscape.
Follow the links below to begin your journey toward developing impactful and successful leaders in your business:
Looking to develop potential leaders for the future of your business? CoAdvantage offers the resources and support you need. Contact us today to discover how we can contribute to your business's success.