It should be easy to attract, develop and retain leaders. After all, there are millions of books, paper and blogs on how to be a leader, more information than you can possibly consume. Yet one fact remains, organisations around the world are still struggling to strengthen their leadership pipelines, and they are falling behind, particularly in developing millennial leaders.
With 50% of the workforce now aged between 20-35, the millennials are here, and they are shaping the culture, working practices and leadership. 86% of business leaders, globally, state that developing leaders and talent is their top priority, behind culture and engagement. Yet culture and engagement starts with leadership, so surely leadership is where to start.
Leadership isn’t a model, or a textbook to follow though. It is a state of being. You don’t DO leadership, you ARE one. This is where many of the development programmes fail to get talent to become leaders. Leadership starts with the self, and then filters through the actions you take. That is why all development programmes we run start with “self” and are supported through coaching. Only when a leader understands themselves, can they continue to learn and develop as a leader.
Many organisations fail at talent and leadership development because they treat it sporadically, and select only a few employees to BE developed. Adopting leadership development as a culture, and inviting everyone, at all levels, into the development journey is the key to building a strong pipeline for the future
More focus is placed on the leaders already in position, in the C-suite. Focusing on the here and now is critical, but so too is focusing on the emerging leaders pipeline. Developing millennial talent not only ensures you have strong succession plans, this group of people expect development. If they don’t get it they will move on to a another business that will give them what they want. So developing millennial leaders makes good business sense from a retention, engagement and future sustainability view.
The critical point about leadership is that you don’t need to be in the top positions to be one. Everyone can be a leader, and investing in leadership at all levels will have that ripple effect that reaches further than you can imagine. By helping your people step into leadership, through developing authenticity, flexibility, vision, delivery, creativity, collaboration and empowerment, they will lead their own work and projects. They won’t need to be managed. This is the future of the workplace and organisations can start now.