I’ve written often about how the number one thing CEOs wish they’d done differently is act faster on talent management decisions. This is because strong leadership is a competitive advantage in today’s global environment of uncertainty, complexity and swift change.
As a result, leadership development and succession planning are more critical than ever.
Dan McCarthy, author of the Great Leadership Blog, has written a stellar new eBook to help companies of all sizes “identify and develop their current and future leaders.” The eBook, “The Great Leadership Development and Succession Planning Kit” is a must-read resource for companies who are serious about making leadership development and succession planning a priority.
What I love about this eBook is it can be used by a variety of leaders in a variety of ways. It covers the entire process from building a business case for leadership development and succession planning initiatives to developing a competency model the entire organization can support, to the actual leadership skills that should be developed within each competency and how to create your own individual development plan (IDP). Thus, it can be used by human resource executives to create a leadership development program from scratch, and by leaders at all levels of the organization to develop their teams.
Here are a few of my favorite nuggets of Dan’s wisdom from the book:
1. Create a Leadership Development Vision and Mission
Given this blog is focused on “Visionary Leadership” I am obviously biased, but this is the step that ties all of your initiatives together, yet the step few companies are smart enough to take. You see, creating the vision of what the organization will look like and act like when you have successfully developed leaders at all levels of the organization will “get everyone in the same boat rowing in the same direction.”
This becomes particularly important when you hit bumps along the way or in financial quarters where profits may be down and it’s tempting to save expenses. A clearly defined and communicated vision of how exceptional the organization will be with highly developed leadership, particularly relative to the competition, will ensure these initiatives remain a top priority in the organization. The fact that Dan is a champion of this step is a testament to this eBook standing out as a critical resource unlike any other.
2. Know what Great leadership Looks Like
I agree with Dan completely that, “It’s important to clearly define the critical leadership competencies that are required now and in the future in order for the business to succeed.” As one of the co-authors of the just-released book, “The Character Based Leader: Instigating a Leadership Revolution One Person at a Time,” I’m obviously biased in my belief that character forms the cornerstone of these competencies. Its importance in today’s business world cannot be overlooked.
Each company will need to assess additional core competencies that will drive business success, engender employee loyalty, and support their organizational culture.
3. Know Where You Stand Against the Target – Seek out Feedback
There is no perfect leader as we are all mere mortals. Yet we can aim to be exceptional leaders and seek out feedback on our progress. Dan recommends “360 degree” feedback programs where co-workers can provide feedback anonymously, and ongoing solicitation of feedback in your work environment. At the same time, he points out wisely that, “While feedback is one of the most powerful sources of development, unfortunately, it’s often lacking. First of all, managers just aren’t good at it. In fact, most people aren’t comfortable giving feedback. That, combined with our own natural emotional response to feedback (fight or flight), we often don’t get enough of it. And it gets worse the higher we get in an organization.”
This is one of the reasons I am such a tremendous advocate of the Magnetic Leadership Program: it provides a simulated environment in which your natural leadership approach is revealed, followed by facilitated feedback from your simulation team and immediate professional coaching on how to apply these leadership lessons back in your job and career. You get the feedback you need in a setting that is safe, fun, encouraging and nurturing all at once.
These are just the top three nuggets of wisdom I gleaned from Dan’s invaluable new eBook. At $7.99 it’s the best investment you’ll make toward creating a Leadership Development & Succession Planning program in your company or for your team! I highly recommend it!
“The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership” -> Amazon Best Seller, Amazon Hot New Release, and the inspiration behind my Harvard Business Review article! Featured on Huffington Post.
Written by 21 volunteer members of the Lead Change Group, this book will challenge and inspire you to take ACTION and Lead Change! Read more