by Beverly Kaye, Founder, Career Systems International
Leaders must commit to engaging and retaining the talent that is needed to simultaneously support the organization for the present and the future. This not only means the development of top leadership bench strength but the recognition and development of emerging potential leaders as well.
Although leaders will agree on the importance of this responsibility, they will also complain that they simply don’t have the time to attend to this function. At a time when it’s understandable, when everyone is forced to do more with less; and there is a belief that this kind of initiative takes time and lots of it.
Although they don’t mean to, leaders often take their top performers for granted. The focus is on the task at hand and the factors impacting the organization’s productivity, with attention to people often taking a backseat. This is a natural response after all, there’s only so much time in a given day, and those hours have extended way beyond what they once were.
Sadly, the truth is that when the going gets tough there is even more reason to focus on talent in the organization and to continually collaborate with employees on their development and growth. Great leaders know that they absolutely cannot put the development of the next generation of leaders on a back burner. This investment in the future is one that no organization can afford to ignore.
Growing new leaders requires a conscious, public effort on the part of an organization’s top leadership. Leaders set the pace in an organization: the leaders have to behave in the same way they expect everyone else to behave. As a leader in your own organization, the duty of growing new leaders is primarily yours.