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Leadership Preparedness

Our last article examined the forces that will change how people lead and manage. With such analysis, we prepare our organizations for disasters, IT outages and cash shortfalls very thoughtfully. How well do we prepare for the future of leadership? Research has shown that an effective climate (i.e. effective leaders) accounts for approximately 1/3 of an organization’s overall performance. Those numbers matter. Below is a model to help understand where your organization is today and where you aspire to be in terms of leadership preparedness.

Four Types of Leadership Preparedness:

Level I- Take no proactive or methodical steps. Do the best you can and use your experience to guide your leadership and talent decisions. This approach may work if your business has a clear exit plan or you leadership just happens to match the changes coming at us. What may be the risks and costs of this approach? What may drive you to have a more defined approach?

Level II –Offer leaders training, mentoring support and informal coaching. This approach generally lets budget owners determine an amount for development and also decide which training they think would be good for themselves and their team. This approach relies on individual managers and leaders to provide the right type of mentoring, training and coaching for each person whom they lead. People are being developed, but are they being developed for the right things at the right time? Are the right people being developed for the right roles?

Level III- Develop organizational-wide leadership succession planning. This level assesses the potential for leadership at the next level in comparison to performance at present level. Individuals are trained and prepared for specific roles in the future. Individuals are usually groomed for the next level but not necessarily in line with what the next level today will look like tomorrow.

Level IV- Look ahead at pace of change and anticipate leadership competencies for the future. Level IV organizations’ begin to redesign structures and jobs around these competencies and then develop tomorrow’s leaders around those competencies’ and jobs today.

Assess your organization against these four levels. Where is your organization today? Where do you want to be? The organizations with the best leadership will win.

About David Mitchell, Ph.D. David has a diverse and highly successfully career history, including University Professor of Psychology and CEO of two technology companies and 35 years in leadership development consultation. David has combined his training as a psychologist, business leadership and consulting to offer inspiration and guidance to others to passionately pursue success and meaning through their work. He has worked with a variety of organizations, ranging in size from 10 to 20,000 employees. As an efficacious entrepreneur, David founded two successful companies and participated as a team member in two others. David holds the belief that work and career are the legacy we offer to our family, our community and the planet. David leads by inspiring leaders to find the greatness inside themselves.

The fact is nobody knows what the future will look like…But there comes a time when people feel there is a change in the air. This is such a time.” 

– Leadership 2030 by the Hay Group