Finding and Developing Leaders

[I want to let everyone know the reason for not posting on Wednesday and for reposting today is because I have been sick this week. So I did not have enough energy to write or be online. Thank you for understanding.]

Repost 2011

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,

  • Deliver results.
  • Understand the company or organization.
  • Are able to influence others.
  • Effectively communicate.
  • 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.

Question: How do you find and develop other leaders?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Floyd Samons

    I think this is one of the most over looked and under emphasized aspects of any organization or family for that matter. If we don’t invest time and energy in others then we fail to leave a positive mark in ways that we are gifted to.
    The biggest attribute that you mentioned to me is the honesty part of this. I had a guy who worked for me some time ago that was puzzled when I promoted him. He said, “But there’s a lot of stuff I don’t know?” My answer was without thought, “I’m not putting you in the position because of what you know, that will come. I’m putting you in the position because of who you are…”

    • Thank you for sharing about the person you promoted. A person’s character is more important than his or her’s talent.

  • Dan, great 3 tips about developing leaders. Here’s a post from Mark Miller just this morning about finding leaders to fill a gap: http://greatleadersserve.org/todays-challenge-filling-a-key-seat-on-your-team/

    • Thank you for reading and sharing the link. I’ll have to read it.

  • Wish I could send this post to a few managers I know or have known over the years.
    It amazes me that people get business degrees or something that specializes in management and they come out not having a clue how to actually lead.
    I’m starting to think a college degree isn’t necessary…simply read great blogs like yours!

    • TC Avey,

      I totally agree with you, many managers need to read on topics like this one. I think reading is a powerful way to educate yourself. Thank you for the complement.

  • This has been a personal goal of mine particularly this year. I’ve actually setup development plans with each one of my employees, and have 1:1’s with each on a bi-weekly basis. My heart is really to develop and equip other leaders.

    • Great personal goal Juan!!! Keep at it, your doing great.

  • Recruiting leaders under me is something I know I need to work on. For me, it’s hard to really spot leadership talent, though. What are your thoughts?

    • Loren,

      To find future leaders requires looking at a persons skills, talent, and character in relation to the position (either volunteered or paid) needed to be filled. I think writing down the skills and character qualities you will or might need in the future then keeping your eyes open to those type of people is important. These are just a few of my current thoughts. A great person to ask this question would be Juan Cruz because he is implementing this a lot more than I am.

  • Sorry about being unwell Dan, i pray that you feel better soon.
    This is a great list. I agree with what TC has said in her comment. We learn so much from the school of life. i think in our world today, no one can justify or gripe about a lack of ‘education’ or ‘college degree’ depriving them of ‘great’ opportunities. We can become great using the resources around us, connecting with great people and committing to personal growth.

    • Thank you for your prayers. I’m starting to feel a little better.

      I totally agree, the school of life can bring a lot of wisdom and insights. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • Another good post. I think reposting is perfectly okay once in awhile. I was wondering where you were, Dan. Sorry you’re not feeling wee and hope you feel better soon. Experience creates good leaders if we learn positive lessons from our experience and then share it with others.

    • Thank you Dan. I was totally out of it and had no energy so I spend all of my time on the couch or in bed. I’m starting to feel better now. True point about “experience creates good leaders.” Thank you for sharing.