Developing Future Leaders

May 20, 2019

As an avid Green Bay Packer’s fan and proud owner, I cannot resist but to take a quote from one of the greatest coaches and leaders in the history of football, Vince Lombardi:

"Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile."--Vince Lombardi

Lombardi’s words have become increasingly relevant today with the rise of millennials entering the workforce. According to a recent study by Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data in 2017, “more than 1 in 3 (35%) of working Americans are millennials (loosely defined as those born after 1981 through 1996) eclipsing other generations in the labor force.” As more and more millennials are entering the workforce and are progressing through the ranks, the need to identify potential leaders and provide them with the tools and resources that will allow them to achieve their fullest leadership potential is a strategic plan that every company should be implementing.

How is your Company developing your employees to become future leaders that will soon take on the responsibility of carrying out the mission and strategic goals of your organization while maintaining the core values and culture that are so integral to your business? There is not a one size fits all strategy to develop great leaders within your organization, but there are a few tips and strategies that can help identify high-potential leaders early and develop, train, and mentor them as they transform into the future leaders in your organization.

Partners in Leadership offers three steps to enhance leadership development to pave the way to a successful leadership development program in your organization:

  1. Identify High-Potential Leaders Early - This allows the maximum time possible to develop, train, and mentor those leaders. As Lombardi recognized, developing leadership is not something that is going to be achieved overnight. Leadership training is an ongoing process that will take hard work and continual effort. By recognizing and investing in your employees early, they will feel more empowered to be successful, encouraged to put forth their best effort, and feel appreciated for their contribution to the organization’s success.
  2. Align Leadership Development with Your Results, Culture, and Strategy – Morrison’s mission statement is “to provide the best possible value to our clients in the areas in which we practice and by doing so honor them and the greater purposes for which we were created.” Morrison has engrained a culture of inclusiveness, teamwork, and providing top-notch services not only to benefit the company, but to serve a greater purpose as we serve our clients. Whatever your organization’s mission, culture, or strategy may be, it is imperative to develop leadership talent that aligns with your organization’s mission to ensure future leadership will continue to carry out the mission and vision of your organization.
  3. Assess, Measure, and Adjust – Just as static strategic plans and organizational goals are destined to fail, so too is a static leadership program. As mentioned earlier, there is no one size fits all strategy to developing a leadership training program. As the needs of the business change, so does the need to assess and modifying your leadership training program to adapt to the changes in the organization’s mission and strategy. This will help develop leaders who are capable of leading through change and develop the ability to adapt through the constantly evolving business environment.

As a final thought, the book of proverbs tells us that “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Another well-known saying comes to mine, “A great leader does not create followers, a great leader creates leaders.” The road to developing future leadership within your organization will be tough, but like Lombardi said, this is the price that must be paid to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.

About the Author

Daniel Paulsen is a consultant with Morrison, which provides business planning (including budgeting, cash flow forecasting, and strategic planning), feasibility studies, interim executive CFO services, competitive grant writing, recruitment, and special projects that don't fit into any conventional category. You can contact Daniel directly at dpaulsen@morrisonco.net or via telephone at 530-893-4764 ext. 210

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