Jun 07 Deepen Strategic Investments in Future Leadership
Companies in all different industries have attractive openings right now, available for talented leaders, and that’s great news if you’re looking to elevate your career. The bad news, especially if you’re tasked with the responsibility of filling those vital positions, is that there is a disturbing lack of qualified people to fill these critical succession pipelines.
Acknowledge Your Talent Gap
Before you can remedy a problem you have to ID it and stop kidding yourself. The talent gap is limiting the potential for many individuals who want more responsibility, influence, and compensation – perhaps more than any other single factor within today’s economy.
Meanwhile it is cutting the legs out from under some wonderful businesses that should be enjoying upward momentum and a more robust market share. But instead they are losing traction and watching their emerging leaders leave to go work for the competition.
A High Yield Investment Opportunity Awaits
You cannot attract the human resources you need unless you are willing to invest in the ones you already have. The forward-looking organizations understand that, and they are investing in the extremely high-yielding programs and initiatives that guarantee that their leadership decks are stacked with the best talent in the world. Unless you’re also embracing that formula you could be inadvertently bankrupting your leadership pipeline.
Why would you make that mistake, especially during a time when the payback on leadership development makes it one of the smartest investments imaginable? Because of my work I basically live inside Fortune 500 companies, and am in constant communication with their senior decision makers. What I see these days is low-hanging fruit ripe for harvest – in the form of incredible assets that just need to be polished and given the right skills and mindset to transform them from diamonds in the rough to crown jewels of leadership.
Thought Leadership in Action
The company I have been working with rather intensely this month is a role model of how to do it right. They are fully committed to their Leadership Academy, and as a result they have a succession pipeline that would make any business envious. But instead of sitting on their laurels, they proactively raise their game – and the standard of excellence that their top talent can meet and exceed.
Adding Velocity to Power
One example of how they are innovating is that they asked to incorporate phone consultation follow-ups into the consultancy program I designed for them. I presented that option to them because it works like a powerful mastermind tool. Phone follow-up stimulates the group to collaborate on ideas, experiences, and internal successes with one another and with me – as their outside consultant. The company realizes that it definitely helps to accelerate the learning curve.
Coaching that Moves Where You Want to Go
Since the leadership talent can reach out to me with questions, concerns, or ideas their coaching development is more flexibly adapted to their specific or newly-evolving needs. As they practice and implement what they have learned in the real-world workplace environment, in other words, they have my continued support.
I liken that to the value that professional athletes derive from their coaches. Those coaches train them during weeks of practice, but that is not the end of the relationship. When it is time for those athletes to prove themselves on the field and play their biggest game, the supportive coach is there on the sidelines, wearing a headset, and communicating with them to finesse the play-by-play action and strategy.
What are your talent gaps, and have you found success by taking the initiative to invest in your team members? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this timely topic.
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Sarah Hathorn, CEO of Hathorn Consulting Group, is the go-to-expert in working with leaders and companies to create successful corporate DNA. As an executive coach, consultant and speaker she collaborates globally with clients and brands such as Deloitte, McKesson, Kimberly-Clark, Sherwin-Williams, Home Depot and other leading organizations.
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