Finding a New Leader

I just read an excellent blog post by Cherissa Newton from The Center for Management & Organization Effectiveness blog. Her post discusses the difficult job we sometimes face of finding new leaders to join our team.

Cherissa mentions that promoting from within often results in better outcomes in the long run. This makes perfect sense when you think of the chance that you have as a leader to coach and groom future leaders from those that you work with today. When you have worked with someone, not only do you learn their abilities to perform the job but their competencies and strengths in communication with others as well. Does your junior sales rep have it all but is missing one thing? Is she making the sales and keeping her tasks in order but constantly getting into arguments with the in-office staff? Now is the time to address these issues and prepare this future leader for the challenges that lie ahead for her.

In her post, Cherissa provides several insightful questions we can ask ourselves when we are assessing the leadership skill needs of our current teams and future leaders:

1. What are the leadership qualities, competencies, and characteristics required for success in a current or future position of leadership at your organization?
2. Who do you think has leadership potential that you would like to consider for development?
3. What specific technical, managerial, and leadership behaviors and indicators have you observed in this person that indicates leadership potential?
4. How does your management team and/or others involved feel about the leadership potential of this person?  What strengths and weaknesses do they see in this person that you need to consider?
5. Do you know what this person’s career aspirations are?  If so, what are they and will he/she be interested in development activities?
6. How committed will this be person to working on developmental assignments?

These questions can be used to discover how you can best help those you lead to develop their skills and reach their potential, as well as help you someday when you are given the task of finding that next new someone.

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