Developing Leaders is the second step in the Create the Movement phase of the Roadmap.
The AIM Leadership Roadmap helps leaders who have a new mandate, new team, or who need new ideas to lead with confidence, accelerate impact, and deliver results in their leadership role. In this article series, I’ll break down the steps you can take to inspire growth in your people and your organization and build your leadership legacy. Want all the info in one place right now? Jump to The Definitive Guide to Leading in a New Role.
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Today’s topic is Develop Leaders. Step 8 in the AIM Leadership Roadmap.
Developing Leaders is the second step in the Create the Movement phase of the Roadmap – with a focus on moving your organization from status quo to creating impactful change.
Developing leaders will help you go from having talent gaps to creating a talent pipeline, in turn improving the skills and retention of your team.
Here are three actions to achieve this:
- Create Succession Plans – do you know the critical roles in your organization? Do you know who will take over those critical roles if someone leaves or retires? Succession planning involves four key activities: (1) Document the critical roles in your organization and the incumbents in those roles, (2) identify the potential candidates for those roles – those ready now and those ready in 1 – 2 years, (3) assess the potential candidates against the competencies needed for the roles, (4) create development plans – including on-the-job practice, coaching, and training – to prepare the candidates to take over those roles. Having documented succession plans helps you identify any talent gaps and decreases the risks associated with people leaving because you know how to fill the roles.
- Create a leadership development roadmap – People often leave their jobs because they don’t see a future in their organization – they feel there is nowhere to go and nothing else for them to learn. The first step to develop a leadership roadmap is to decide on the leadership competencies needed for your organization at the different levels. This roadmap shows people the opportunities they can aspire to as they move up and around the organization. Leadership is needed at all levels – whether you are an individual contributor or a business unit leader. Having a leadership development roadmap provides a consistent approach to improve and embed leadership skills throughout the organization and works as a retention tool, as people will see what else is possible. And having your leadership competencies documented will expedite the impact of your new leaders because they will know what is expected and how to develop the skills.
- Target skill development – once you have your leadership development roadmap competencies identified, you can brainstorm ways that people can gain those skills and competencies. This may include job shadowing, coaching, training, or stretch assignments. To identify the specific skills an individual needs to develop, have people self assess or gather feedback about them to determine their skill gaps. Each person will have different strengths and areas for development. And while common leadership programs are great for creating consistency in skills, language, and behaviours in organizations; for individuals to grow, they will need targeted skill development to prepare for the next level. One-on-one coaching is a great way to target development and prepare candidates for promotions to fill your succession gaps. The combination of assessment, coaching, job shadowing, stretch assignments, and common leadership programs will fill your pipeline with promotion-ready candidates, improve retention, and generally bolster the leadership skills in your organization.
Developing leaders is an ongoing process, and while it can be daunting, especially for smaller organizations with limited resources, you can start small – identify your critical roles, then start to think about the skills needed to fill those roles. Bring other people into the conversation so that it’s not just one person’s job to develop leaders. Having the right people with the rights skills is critical to any business but remember, it’s a long game, the fruits of your labour won’t appear in the short term, but the payoff will be worth it!
Succession Planning and Leadership Development Programs
Do you need to improve retention of your high performers? Do you need to build your leadership pipeline? Do you want to develop your people’s overall leadership skills? Find out more about my Succession Planning and Leadership Development Programs to help you achieve the following outcomes:
- Create an in-house succession planning process and pipeline
- Develop promotion-ready candidates to succeed in new leadership roles
- Improve the overall leadership skills of your people