This opinion comes from these two commonly held and seemingly contradictory points of view:
“We want our young people to take an interest in the business, show some commitment and initiative, and go the extra mile for us. Now, we have this leadership vacancy but no one is ready?”
“My job is stale; I need a change of jobs every two years with a promotion and a pay rise. After all I want to be a CEO. I don’t think that I will be able to get all this here?”
In digging deeper there is less contradiction than one might think. Both parties rely on the success of the business and a willingness to engage their leadership talent.
In the context of this discussion I define “Future Leaders” as anyone within an organisation that has the potential, at some future point in time, to fill a senior leadership role within that organisation. Not everyone wants to be a Future Leader in their work life. Future Leaders are often, but not always, in a younger age bracket than the current leadership and Future Leaders may well come from outside the organisation. It is generally accepted that companies benefit by developing and appointing the majority of their leaders from within.
What can budding Future Leaders do?
Firstly, think about whether you like your company, its people (incl. current leaders), its culture & values, and whether or not you would like to be a leader in this company. If you like what you see, take the initiative! Here are some suggestions:
Lastly, money generally follows Future Leaders and I suggest that knowing where you fit in the company salary range and discussing it with your Manager should be sufficient to ensure you are getting paid fairly for your contribution.
What should Managers, CEOs, and Directors do?
A 2005 Hewitt Top 25 Company survey found that one of the key enablers of building leadership quality and depth is the active involvement from the CEO and Board of Directors. Some suggestions:
VSC Growth can help protect and grow the future potential of your business by helping develop Future Leaders. We can help you establish your own Future Leaders program, assess current leadership capacity and Future Leader potential, advise on leadership development programs, and provide mentoring and coaching. We are passionate about unlocking performance potential by fostering improved understanding and alignment of personal and business goals.
By Steve Coote, Director VSC Growth – February 2011