What usually happens when you leave something to the last minute?
It never turns out as good as it could.
The same goes for your leadership talent readiness.
Leave it to the last minute, and your company’s leadership talent is not as good as it needs to be.
The problem is that companies wait to identify and develop emerging leaders from mid-level positions, missing early development opportunities to strengthen the pipeline.
This means that you don’t have established emerging leader talent management practices in place to ‘stack the deck ‘ for your leadership pipeline.
The lack of solid emerging leader talent management practices not only leaves gaps in your leadership pipeline, but also puts your company’s long-term competitiveness at risk.
To have even a chance at a winning leadership team, your pipeline practices must start early.
You can’t join a 100-meter race in the middle, expect to get up to speed as quickly as the other runners, and win. Preparing your leadership for success means starting the process at the starting line.
Following are seven important early stage leadership pipeline practices that could have a significant impact in effectively fueling the future bench strength you’re working so hard to build:
1. Define the early stage behaviors of the leadership competencies and skills your organization has identified for success.
2. Use both a qualitative assessment around these competencies and a results-based approach to evaluate and select potential talent.
3. Onboard emerging talent into a development process at junior level positions.
4. Set clear expectations for their engagement and success in this emerging leadership development process.
5. Make sure your talent development includes continued emphasis on and support to strengthen their foundation for success: Expertise, Experiences and Execution.
6. Provide opportunities for the development and application of identified leadership competencies and skills.
7. Introduce them to and support them in applying the career accelerators: Reputation, Reach, and Relationships.
Late stage leadership preparation is like trying to bring in a promising new quarterback near the end of the season.
It’s tough to win the super bowl by then.
Start early and stay at it with your emerging leader practices to build the talent your company needs to succeed.