Leadership Development - Who Are You Grooming To Take Your Job?

leadership development

For leadership development programs in organizations to be successful, it must be done at all levels of leadership in the organization. This means that succession planning should be done for every level of leadership in the organization.

Here's a common fallacy in many organizations.

The business plans for a successor for key members of the business like the CEO, the members of the board of directors, senior managers of the business and other key staff. But more often than not, they forget to plan the exit of the painter who's the key man in the painting shop.

The result?

The day the man leaves, confusion hits the painting shop team.

"No other painter paints like Mr. Stephenson. He is twice as fast and three times more efficient than all the other painters put together. I can't afford to lose him!", the painting shop supervisor screams.

But wait. If what he says is true, did he see to it that Mr. Stephenson enjoyed benefits or a pay that reflects the fact that he worked faster and smarter than his colleagues? If he earned just as much as his other colleagues who were less productive, would that motivate him or demotivate him?

One more question.

Why didn't the supervisor plan for a suitable successor for Mr. Stephenson all these years that he has been doing three people's job in the painting workshop?

The illustration above is a typical situation in many organizations. When the HR team says they are keen on succession planning and that all loop holes have been covered, please look again. There's always a 60% chance that they didn't reckon with the shop floor staff.

Before you raise the argument that the supervisor and the line manager should have covered that bit, let me tell you this.

If the business suffers a major shortfall in production because key operations people leave the business, the entire business suffers . . . not just operations or manufacturing.

The message?

Leadership development should be done across board. Every business, every organization should adopt a holistic approach when it comes to developing leaders - present and future.

For the avoidance of doubt, first line managers are leaders. If the factory workers refuse to be led by them, the business suffers.

Supervisors and foremen are also leaders. If they're not, the business wouldn't pay them something extra for occupying those positions.

The winning strategy is to develop leaders in every level of the organization because the more leaders the organization has, the more competitive the organization is.

So, who are you grooming to take over your job?

If you don't have an immediate answer, you're doing something wrong. Take a second look at your leadership development strategy.

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