For far too long leaders have been reaching out to the same few go-to people in our team that we can rely on to deliver a quality outcome for us.

This in itself is not the issue as we always turn to people we can rely on. The problem is that we are not broadening our go-to people and risk burning out the ones that help us deliver.

We have leadership pipeline deficiency and put ourselves and our key go-to people at risk of burnout if we do not change this old habit.

A progressive leader, in any industry, will always seek out the next go-to person in their team and develop a strategy to help them grow to their full potential.

It is our responsibility as responsible leaders to maintain and continually develop a pipeline of future successful leaders and go-to executives.

Every organisation should have a future leader’s pathway, but the question remains, how do we do that?

The steps are simple yet critically important if you want to grow your people, leaders, and company results.

Step 1 – Define what the future leader looks like.

Understand your current leaders, their strengths and challenges and build around this. You also need to predict what the future needs of the business will be and develop leaders for 5 years from now, not for today.

The key for success in the future is for leaders to be adaptable, flexible, show learning agility, be creative, show innovation, and most importantly, not to feel threatened by quality people that surround them.

With the modern trend towards creating human robots (employees doing what they are told and then waiting for the next instruction) we need to create a culture for people at all levels where they feel safe to contribute to defining the problem and generating the solution, bringing more diversity of experience and perspective into the business.

Step 2 – Source the right leadership development solution.

I get asked time after time if RdL can do an online leadership program. And the short answer is yes, we can, but leadership is something that needs to be experienced and can not just be learnt through an online option.

The right solution must focus on developing your leaders to deliver what your business needs in 5 years from now. Encouraging innovation, supporting curious conversations, learning to be the last to speak are all elements that are better developed through face to face facilitation.

A high quality program is about having experiences that are carefully orchestrated, and which offer insights about themselves, about other people, and about their organisation.

Step 3 – Create the right workplace culture.

We need to create a workplace culture where people feel safe to contribute at all levels to defining the problem and generating the solution. The 1 – 3 – 1 method is a great concept for this. Encourage your people to come to you with their 1 problem, 3 possible solutions, and their 1 recommendation.

Another option is to increase cross department collaboration and break down the silos. We can do this by encouraging leaders to show flexibility to visit other areas of the business and build an understanding of how, what they do impacts others.

We also need to ensure every employee from CEO to the most recent hire are aware that receiving feedback from others is an opportunity to grow and learn, not an attack on them as a person.

Most importantly for any organisation is that the business must create time and space for their leaders to learn and grow. This means investing in your people and creating time to avoid the busyness excuse.

Step 4 – Cross pollinate your leadership strengths.

In order to learn from the success of others, we need to create a forum where leaders come together to freely share their successes and how they over came their challenges. These successes can relate to both professional and personal challenges that have been overcome.

Leadership is a choice, it is not a rank and we need to create a culture within every company where people at all levels feel empowered to make a difference and feel the pleasure of accountability and success.

If you would like to learn more about how RdL can assist you in your leadership development journey, please send us an email or give us a call and we can tailor a solution to your needs.