A company has focused on developing future leaders and managers. They do this both to increase their managerial and leadership bench strength and to boost employee retention. What has worked for you in developing managers and leaders?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Trying to make a leader doesn’t work. Leadership is a trait, not a skill. Leaders can arise from anywhere within the organization. An effective CEO recognizes this and works with both the leaders and the managers, whatever their position.
- The Gallup Organization found that exceptional managers and exceptional leaders are not often the same people. Usually, the best managers are people who excel at bringing out the best in their employees, but may not be either visionary or strategic thinkers. Leaders, on the other hand are those to whom others look to for guidance and direction. Good leaders know how to identify and delegate to good managers.
- Identify and develop strengths within your people; don’t try to fix weaknesses.
- Gallup found that talented people have identified and developed their strengths. Instead of fixing weaknesses they find ways to work around weaknesses so that they are not harmed by them.
- Use informal mentoring. Assign mentors to employees, and include cross-departmental mentor assignment to extend skills development, as well as managerial and leadership development.
- Ask mentors to report progress to the CEO on occasional basis.
- As you develop your talent pipeline, track the number of employees added to the pipeline per year as a key company metric. As an additional metric, look at the number of individuals in your pipeline compared with the number that you believe you need to fill future needs.