Assessing your leadership bench is really just the beginning. It starts by taking stock of the talent, skills, and opportunities in front of you. But if you really want to build with an eye on the future, you need to do more than assess. You need to consider how to develop the talent you already have.
Developing leaders should be something that occurs at the very beginning, not just when a vacancy arises. It comes from intentionally investing and holistically developing your leadership bench into what they could be, not just capitalizing on what they are. It’s both present action and future intention that change the way we lead and manage our teams.
One thing you can do differently as you develop your bench? In addition to the formal training and coaching you provide your leaders, regularly look for opportunities to stretch your people beyond their current job description. You’re not looking for opportunities that guarantee success and a pat on the back. Those have a place and help confirm what someone is capable of...but when we’re looking to dig deeper into what they could become, we need to provide opportunities that stretch beyond their comfort and current expertise.
When this kind of mentality is shared with your team, it communicates that you value who they are AND who they can become. It’s the kind of thing that sets great leaders apart and generates loyalty.
By taking the time to intentionally develop your leadership bench, you’re investing in the future of your organization and making sure you have a talent pool to get there.