The best leader’s know the importance of equipping future leaders. The best and most successful companies find and develop future leaders. They first must find potential leaders then develop them. I would like to talk about some characteristics to look for in a future leader and 3 ways leader’s can train the next generation of leaders. Before we begin here are a couple thoughts on this topic by Ram Charan,
“Finding leadership talent is essential”
“Many fail to recognize that developing other leaders is, or at least should be, a major part of every leader’s job”
Leader’s should always be preparing for the future and one of the ways they do that is by finding and developing others. Let’s look at some characteristics of a leader. Here they are,
Understand the company or organization.
Are able to influence others.
Are credible and trustworthy.
Know the importance of a team.
Knows their strengths and weaknesses.
Are teachable and like to learn.
Have a positive attitude.
Has vision for the future.
Is able to set goals and achieve them.
Knows the need to develop others and are good teachers.
Being able to spot some of these characteristics in people will show you if someone has leadership potential. If you find a person with these types of characteristics then they might be a future leader. As soon as you spot a future leader you should begin to develop their leadership ability. So that when the time comes they can easily step into a leadership position. Below are 3 things that leader’s need to provide to help in the training of a future leader,
1. Provide experience- Leader’s who want to train their people should provide them with experience that will help them grow and develop in their leadership ability. This can be done by giving them a project or team to lead. This allows the leader to see them in action and helps the future leader develop as a leader. During this time the leader need’s to guide and support the future leader’s choices and decisions.
There has been many people in my life who’ve allowed me to lead teams and speak in public so that I may grow my leadership ability. They recognized my leadership potential and provided experiences that where hands on.
2. Provide resources- Leader’s should provide their people with resources that will help them develop their leadership and skills. This can be done by offering books, CDs, and allowing them to go to conferences.
I remember the many leaders who have helped me grow by giving me a book or CD. They understood that I needed the book knowledge as well as the hands on experience.
3. Provide mentorship- Part of leadership is mentoring your people. Being mentored helps future leader’s with the challenges and changes that they face as a leader. Having a mentor is a great way for future leader’s to grow and develop.
People mentoring me has had a huge impact on my development as a leader. Without good mentorship I know I would not be where I am today. I now make it a choice to mentor others and be mentored too.
Keep your eyes open for potential leaders and when you find them take the time and energy developing them. Because the success or failure of what you are leading will depend on it.