Grooming Future Leaders

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A major issue for many businesses and organizations is how to prepare future leaders within the organization for the many leadership roles expected to be created as the number of retirements increases.

Q: Is it the manager’s job to groom their own replacement?

A: Yes, one expectation of leaders is that they grow the people below them in the organization so the the leader eventually replaces themselves. This is also motivational for the employees because they can see a career path of advancement.

Q: Doesn’t that scare the manager – that they might become redundant if they build up the people below them?

A: Yes, and that fear keeps the manager from being a more effective leader, and actually limits their own promotability?

Q: How so?

A: If a manager creates too much dependancy on themselves – makes themselves indispensible, the executive team figures that they cannot be promoted because they are too involved in their current responsibilities.

Q: So what should managers do to groom future leaders?

A: Like most management tasks, it helps to have a plan. Take a look at the people in the department and assess their talent and skills. Then systematically give people projects or assignments that will develop their leadership skills. Be sure to coach the individuals and give them feedback on how they are doing. Over a period of months to years, the manager should feel confident that they have one or more people ready to step up into a leadership role.

Q: What if the manager grooms two or three people for advancement and only one gets the promotion?

A: That is always a risk. If you only groom one person for promotion and they leave, the company is stuck. If you groom two or three – you may lose them to another organization. This shouldn’t be seen as a negative. If you are creating more leaders than you need, it’s a sign that your organization is successful.

For more information on how we help groom a consistent leadership team, visit me on the web at or call me at 1-866-700-9043.