Identifying and Preparing Your Next Generation Leaders
By Samantha Bautista
MountainWest Capital Network’s April Business Forum presented keynote speaker Gary Vickrey, president of Jackson Leadership System, who highlighted a very relevant, but not often emphasized topic of preparing the next generation of employees for leadership. While most companies may have an idea of who to promote within their organization, key components for developing and choosing the appropriate potential candidate for a leadership position are often overlooked.
Why is this relevant? As Vickrey noted in his presentation, there are currently 75 million baby boomers with only 45 million gen-exers. This means among 70 percent of his clients, half will have leaders ready to retire with an unequal number of employees available to replace them. Having a plan to identify potential leaders now could potentially save a company over $500,000, or 2.5 times the salary of a bad hire.
Vickrey noted the obstacles many companies face when developing a sound plan or program.
Oftentimes they become too busy or lost track of the big picture as assorted problems arise.
Some feel it’s not necessary, but he notes 51 percent of leadership leaves unexpectedly.
A few companies will have one person making the decision for a replacement, but not having a board or group of colleagues vetting potential candidates could create homogeneity, or creating a cycle of hiring very similar leaders, which could prevent future growth opportunities or new ideas for the business.
While it’s understandable to stay within a comfort zone, Vickrey states past performance isn’t a guaranteed predictor of future success.
Being an expert in a particular role doesn’t always translate to being a successful manager.
Vickrey gave a few solutions to build a successful plan.
A company should start with the basics and build criteria around the job and not the person in order to find the best-suited individual for the job.
Talking with a peer group about why they feel someone is successful will help vet candidates and provide a more well rounded perspective of an individual and what they could do for the future of the business.
Implementing individual developmental plans and encouraging internal coaching and mentoring will not only open the prospective pool, but may reduce turnover by fostering a better work environment.
Incorporating these ideas as well as other components can help make a transition easier for a company and help lead to a successful future.
The business forum is one part of MWCN’s continued efforts to highlight and connect Utah’s successful businesses. If you or anyone else you know would like to be a speaker, please contact us.