7 Smart Ways to Identify and Grow Future Leaders

An important part of leadership is identifying and growing future leaders within your organization. Many leaders ignore this important element. They may be too caught up in current priorities or not sure of what to do. In my work as an executive coach, I provide my clients with seven smart steps for developing new leaders:

Get to know your up-and-coming people. Get to know the potential upcoming leaders within your organization, then spend time strengthening those relationships. Remember to cast a wide net and be open to diverse voices and personalities.

Listen to learn. Schedule one-on-one meetings with prospective leaders, and devote most of those meetings to listening and learning. Ask lots of open-ended questions, listen, and follow up with more questions. You’ll learn a lot about them as individuals. And as a bonus, you’ll learn about the challenges and values of the next generation of leaders.

Invest in strong candidates. Once you identify the strongest prospects, make sure they have the resources they need to grow. Help them plan for their future and stick with them as they carry out their plan. Show your confidence and be generous with your knowledge.

Be supportive. Upcoming leaders depend on mentors for support and guidance. Make sure they can always count on you. They may not make the same decisions you would. But as long as their reasoning and analysis are sound, support them in going their own way.

Challenge them. When you give a growing leader a difficult challenge, you’re giving them a chance to shine. Challenges reveal their capabilities and capacities while building critical thinking skills and creativity. They’ll learn new skills and grow their confidence—and the organization will benefit from their fresh thinking and new perspectives.

Give them wider exposure. Remember to familiarize new leaders with the big picture. Help them develop a broad knowledge of your industry as well future possible directions for your organization. This understanding will serve as the foundation for their future decision-making.

Provide mentoring and coaching. Future leaders thrive with lots of mentoring and coaching. They need to know that they can turn to someone for professional advice, guidance and support. Help them feel confident and supported as they take their first steps—and beyond.

Developing future leaders is critical for any organization looking to succeed in the long term. And focusing on leadership development keeps established leaders from becoming stale and satisfied with the status quo. When you help rising leaders develop their skills and confidence, you can know that your leadership and influence will endure far beyond your own career.

Lead From Within: The future of leadership lies within the potential leaders you develop today.


#1 N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R

The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

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