5 steps to building future leaders

July 26th, 2019     Improve Your Business

To build the business you need to have the life you want, you may need a leadership team to run it when you’re not there, or it could be part of your exit strategy. Either way it doesn’t just happen, you need to plan it.

So here are five points to consider when building your own leadership programme to help you build your future leaders.

1. Make sure your business has a clear vison and stated goals

It seems obvious, but unless your future leaders understand the vision and strategy of the business, they are unlikely to engage and develop their skills in a way that contributes to the success of the business overall.

2. Who are your next generation of leaders?

Identifying potential candidates for your leadership development programme can be difficult. Most businesses tend to do this in different ways, however, identifying the employees who bring the most energy, ambition and success into your company is a smart way to focus your development efforts. A good way of assessing this is to allow potential future leaders to shadow a manager for a day or two. It will tend to become apparent pretty quickly if the employee has the potential to become a manager or not.

3. Align your expectations of future leaders with the overall objectives of the business

To do this, you must identify the behaviours that you want to reward and articulate this to your future leaders. A simple way to go about this is to ask yourself: what do we want our future leaders to accomplish?

4. Let your potential leaders learn by doing

In order to let your next generation of potential leaders develop their skills, you need to give them enough freedom to explore, experiment and experience some struggles, but still be reined in safely if necessary.

5. Ask questions and communicate

Finally, it is important to communicate. If you have identified an employee as a potential future leader in your business, have a conversation with them to understand their career development aspirations. Some people want to develop and move up in the business, whereas others may be content with their current job and may have no desire to take on additional responsibility. You can only develop people who want to engage and be developed.

Building the business you need to have the life you want takes conscious effort and so does building your future leaders, it doesn’t happen by chance.