Developing Leaders From Within Your Agency

There is no question most agencies are not managed or led by just one person. Usually there are a number of people who contribute to the company’s success. But how does a agency develop leaders? Is it better to look outside or try to develop leaders from within? We think there are very good reasons to look inside your company for your future leaders. One of the key advantages of selecting someone internally to develop into a leader, is that they are able to be productive almost 60% faster than an outside candidate.

Key Point – Leadership development is more of an art….it is fluid, so be prepared.

Here is a simple four point plan to help you get started.

Start – Leadership Style

It is very important to understand what type of leadership style fits your organization. The leadership style of a nonprofit, for example, would be much different from that of a factory.

Here are some of the different leadership styles:

  • Charismatic- Tony Robbins
  • Innovative- Steve Jobs
  • Command and Control- Jerry Jones- Dallas Cowboys owner
  • Pace Setter- Jeff Bezos- Amazon
  • Servant- Billy Graham

Review – Identify the Future Leaders

The best way to measure a potential leader is during the performance appraisal process; managers can assess goals and development plans, solicit feedback and rate the individual’s progress to date.

Plan – Develop a Leadership Strategy

Elements of a leadership strategy should include:

  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Gradual increased responsibility
  • Create an environment that enables others to generate new approaches to emerging opportunities
  • Provide training which might include seminars and conferences
  • Use your vendors; accounts, insurance, HR and others to educate future leaders on specific issues (be careful not to disclose too much confidential information until you are confident of a person’s role)
  • Provide feedback
  • Involve future leaders in key decisions

Act – Develop Career Planning for Potential Leaders

This will involve creating a new job description and adding executive benefits. It will be important to give the individual a general timeline on when they will be ready to become the leader you need.

So, pick an area to start working on and make some changes tomorrow. Practice giving better feedback, engage in constructive instruction and pay attention to what you say and how that impacts other people in your organization. Remember, great leaders can be developed.