Challenges to growth: Leadership Development

A critical challenge facing businesses today is leadership development. Opportunities for exponential growth and succession of various leadership roles require companies to plan and be intentional to develop the leaders to secure a bright and growing future.

Leadership development must be a priority and works best when it becomes part of your culture and a priority in strategic planning. It’s the combination of all three that bring more opportunities and help meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Good leaders don’t ‘just happen’

Joey Havens, HORNE’s managing partner of strategic growth, said too many company executives think that leadership will “just happen.”

“Leadership development, the leadership pipeline, is so critical to the future, to an organization sustaining itself and growing,” he said. “Yet, we just leave it to happenstance and think, ‘They’ll learn like I learned.’”

Havens said there is a connection between culture and leadership development.

“It’s beyond being proficient at a technical skill. It’s everything else about what connects us and people and how to manage yourself, how to manage people and influence people.”

Seniority doesn’t equal good leadership

Just because an employee has been with a company for a long time doesn’t mean they will make a good leader, Havens said, but that’s what many systems promote or default to.

“You have to throw seniority out the window and really talk about results and performance,” he said. “When somebody is reaching that stage and taking on that role and responsibility, give them that opportunity.

“Give people experiences that they used to have to wait years to get,” he added. “You will start to progress faster because the stars, the leaders, they want to be challenged. It really is about intentional development.

Leadership and succession planning

Business owners, especially those who run small companies, should begin thinking about their succession/exit strategy long before they plan to retire. “Too many companies, whether or not they’re family-owned, make assumptions about what siblings are going to do,” he said. “They also may think a manager or other employee will do it. You end up with businesses that have lots of value, and if you don’t have a succession plan, you’re going to lose a lot of that value.”

It’s very risky to assume their children, or another family member will want to run the business or can be successful running it, nor should they assume a long-time manager or partner will do it.

All these risks and opportunities can be addressed in an effective leadership development plan. Succession and exit strategies are too important for all businesses for us not to be very intentional.

Call or message us today if you would like to learn more about our leadership essentials training or would like to discuss the status of your leadership team and future needs.

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