Great businesses have great leaders. A 5-step plan to grow your own great leaders

More companies fail through poor leadership than any other single cause.  Furthermore, many more companies stumble along, unable to grow.  They just survive, frustrated and unfulfilled, because of poor leadership.

Compare this to great businesses who thrive because they have great leaders.

Consequently, it is good business to hire people better than you and invest in them and nurture them as great potential leaders.

Finding, hiring and keeping potential leaders, needs strategies and systems.  Consistency in managing hiring, training and career development is important.  Filling leadership roles is difficult and poor hires are expensive mistakes.  Great businesses do this well, which is a key differentiator in addition to creating significant business value.

Leadership development

Successful leaders align company strategy to an understanding of the leadership style needed to execute that strategy.  You can develop your own current and future company leaders by following the five steps below.

Step 1   Leadership style

Decide the leadership style best suited to your business.  Allow for the type of work, complexity and capabilities of your team.  Effective leadership styles will vary from manufacturing to marketing, finance, creative services, and other sectors.

Step 2   Spot the leaders

Focus on attitude, in addition to leadership skills and competencies.  Stanley Kalms, who created Dixon’s Retail Group, regularly promoted managers who were inexperienced.  However, what he spotted were great leadership skills, ambition, confidence and attitude.

Step 3   Predict the gaps

Look for current leaders who may be at risk of planning to leave.  Review your leadership pipeline to find skills gaps and offer training and development to fill them.

Step 4   Plan career development and management succession

Develop a succession plan from which to promote your top people.  Rank them on leadership style, attitude, performance and commercial competence.  Career planning traditionally is an individual responsibility.  If you do not give your people opportunities for advancement, your competitors will.  Active career planning motivates and keeps leadership talent.

Step 5   Make your team sticky because it keeps them interested

Performance pay can be a motivational.  However, stay focused on what is important to the company, and align goals and rewards accordingly.  Encourage and recognise excellent performance in addition to continually promoting the company’s values.  It is attractive to stay as leader of a powerful united team with a strong sense of belonging.

Consequently, great leaders make great businesses, so it pays to find, promote and keep the best.