Leaders, you just can't hire them

Unpreparedness for the challenge of leadership is one of the biggest adversities is in today’s business world. It increasingly and negatively affects companies every single day – and what might surprise you is that it is just not endemic within executive and senior director circles, but detectable at all levels of the organization. Our lack of awareness and understanding that we need to develop leaders from within our organization is somehow supported by an operational complacency and organizational conceit that we “can hire leaders off the street”.  

This is very shortsighted – and just plain wrong.

Leaders that make the most significant impact on an organization’s success can most effectively come from within when developed properly. Developing existing staff rather than recruiting outside the organization should be the preferred process, and is proven to be the best approach to creating an enduring culture of leadership development and managerial success.

So why, then, do so many organizations trivialize or ignore the need to focus on helping employees develop and grow?

It could be because business leaders today are so tied up on running the day to day operational agenda, they have lost sight of the strategic importance of allowing their people to manage and drive the business – to nurture the requisite organizational “buy-in”. Or, just maybe, they’ve become nervous or apprehensive at the thought that someone else may have control.

Either way, it’s a sure sign of misguided – even myopic - leadership. 

So think about where your organization or company is right now. How often do you evaluate it? Do you think about where you want to be one, two, three years down the road? Are your plans for future success only built on revenue and market projection? Do you regularly evaluate the status of your talent as often as you evaluate the financials? If not, why would you expect to achieve success? And if so, I would suggest that, unwittingly, perhaps a tint of “managerial myopia” may have occluded your executive vision and decision making. That you have lost sight of the most important component, the very human resource that must invariably lead these initiatives.

Recently I was invited to speak in Toronto on the subject of “Internal Branding and Employee Engagement”. After spending two exceptional days working and chatting with business professionals from around North America, it became disquietingly apparent that many organizations lack a clear and defined plan to develop leaders from within. Notice I said develop, not promote. What separates successful companies from the unsuccessful is their commitment to evaluate their talent, prepare potential employees by training, coaching, and mentoring them, not just promoting them for a job well done. I dare say many high potential employees have been ruined - not because they didn’t do a good job - but rather their work was good so they were rewarded by being promoted into leadership roles before they were properly ready for the challenge.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There’s experienced counsel and seasoned professional perspective available to guide your executive decision making process. This is what “in-gaged” Leadership is all about –creating a focused roadmap to train, coach, and mentor employees so that they are prepared when the time comes to lead. Organizations often need specialized support to evaluate, develop, and implement programs for success. In an ever changing and always competitive business climate the success of an organization will grow from a structured commitment to evolve and understand the importance of developing from within.

So address the challenge and see the impact great leadership can have on your organization.

All it takes is your commitment to do it – do it now.