Fill Your Leadership Pipeline
There are so many area's as a leader that you need to focus your energy on from making sure your team are performing well, those improvement projects you need to do to get those business metrics heading in the right direction and of course not forgetting the monthly reports and bottom line results! The list feels never ending.
What if there were a way to not only develop your team but improve moral, reduce stress, increase productivity and improve your bottom-line results? It sounds too good to be true, right?
Wrong, there is a way of doing all these things and much more and it's not with the help of any new miracle solution It's simple, Fill your Leadership Pipeline!
The Leadership Pipeline sounds almost like a manufacturing process and in a way, it is. Your focus is to grow leaders in every area and level of the business so that you create an abundance of talent within the business that can tackle any issue you need to focus on and to fill any leadership role that comes up.
Think about it for just a minute, if your business set a focus for each leader that was "To grow the next person on my role" and also had a target of say filling 90% of leadership positions internally, what would that do for the business? How would that change the everyone's thinking, the way of working, bottom-line costs? Moreover, what would that do for the Culture of your company?
Here are 10 simple actions that you can take as a leader to grow that pipeline and as a result reduce your stress while get more done!
- Set up a great team culture of accountability, teamwork communication and performance expectations with clear deliverables – everyone knows the game, knows the rules, challenges each other in the right way, plays hard & keeps score!
- Set a clear understanding on what behaviour is and isn't acceptable throughout the whole team, then demonstrate it every day yourself holding everyone universally to that same standard.
- Let your team know up front that you don't expect them to be perfect, in fact it there may well be times when the outcome is a failure but be honest with them, you have been there as well, so be open and share that experience and let them know they will still have your support.
- Remind them that Leadership isn't about demanding things get done, it's about looking at how you support & serve your team to give them the tools to achieve.
- Look for projects of varying size & complexity that you can delegate (but not abdicate) to your up & coming leaders that will stretch them out of their comfort zones, take a mentoring / coaching role and give them the authority within the project to make decisions.
- Have them run your staff meetings for you, rotate the role if you need to but it should be quarterly at the least to make sure the person has enough time to demonstrate their leadership styles.
- Bring them in on strategic decisions and budgeting discussions so they understand the processes, ensure they have real input. This helps them start to build a vision of their own and understand the larger issues of the team & company plus they will challenge your thinking and force you to support your view point, this will make youa better leader at the same time.
- Coach them on people management issues or if that's not your strong point, find someone in the business that it is a strong point and link them up.
- Give them staff! Suddenly having direct reports is always an eye opener so don't hand over 100 of them at once, start with 2 or 3, maybe 5 at most if possible. Check in with them on how they are going and what their development plans are for their staff.
- When you head off on holiday delegate full responsibility to them, let them know they can call you if they need to but only if they call with options of a solution to discuss, then leave them alone… you need to take the break and demonstrate that you trust them.
If you have delegated most of your projects and are taking on more of a coaching role then you will certainly have more time (and less stress) to be able to look at the big picture stuff. You will also have a team of thinkers ready to step in and get involved in those problems the company has that need more than a single brain to solve.
What about the impact on the bottom line?
Research shows that a more engaged workforce is not only more productive, so you get more done with the same people, they also have a far lower staff turnover so recruitment costs go down.
When you are ready to appoint that next leader in your business you can do it internally and not pay those recruitment company fees to go out and find someone who is an unknown quantity to fill the that slot or spend the time getting the new hire up to speed in your company saving you time & expense there as well.
Filling your leadership pipeline isn't just great leadership, it's great a business approach to adding directly to your bottom line.
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