LEADERSHIP RESOURCES BLOG

Guidance on leadership development & strategic planning.

Succession Planning: 4 Benefits of Leadership Development

By Leadership Resources 09/18/2019
Boy dreamer on top of ladder as symbol of individual sucess

An organization’s success and advancement depends on the growth of its people. Without strong leaders with a shared vision, you can’t expect your company to adapt, evolve, and thrive in a dynamic environment. You must invest in all of your employees, especially those who display ambition and potential for taking over leadership roles in the future. 

One of the most powerful ways to invest in your people is to provide them with a leadership development program suited to their individual needs and your company’s needs. Let’s go over four key benefits of leadership development.

How Leadership Development Helps Companies

1. Building Confidence

Not all people are natural-born leaders. This is okay, as there are plenty of candidates who do wish to rise up and take on more responsibility within your organization. However, becoming a strong leader is easier said than done. You might find that some of your potential leaders, though they want to learn and grow, lack the confidence required to take the next step. This is where leadership development training comes in handy.

With the right coaching and guidance, emerging leaders can enhance their communication skills, become more adept at planning, gain valuable hands-on experience, and more. All of these efforts will help the confidence of your potential leaders and prepare them for whatever comes next.

2. The Leadership Development Domino Effect

Investing in leadership development is a holistic effort, meaning the benefits don’t only impact those who receive training, but also spread across your entire organization. Those who receive training can go on to express and teach their newly learned skills to others, enhancing your organizational culture as a whole. This domino effect may even inspire less ambitious employees to take on new responsibilities and continue the cycle of development. 

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3. Encourage and Cultivate New Ideas

Stagnation is a company’s subtlest and most sinister enemy. Oftentimes, this lack of vitality stems from a lack of new leadership. Established leaders may ignore new ideas or opinions from their younger employees, however unintentionally. The status quo, while comfortable, can become restrictive. 

Bringing in some new blood can really shake up a stale organization, but only if new leaders are ready to take on new roles. A solid leadership development regiment will encourage fresh faces to flourish and share their ideas with current leaders within the organization. Better yet, with enough training, these new leaders can help implement these changes with confidence and clarity.

4. Securing Your Company’s Future

Finally, if you want your company to continue its legacy, you must prepare accordingly with a succession planning model that focuses heavily on leadership development. Succession planning refers to the process by which an organization carefully transitions from the established leadership to new leadership. Without a fresh set of prepared leaders to grab the torch, your organization will likely experience a serious crisis when the time comes. 

One of the great benefits of leadership development is that it secures your company’s future by curating strong leaders who are capable and confident enough to take over new and existing roles. For more insight into the many benefits of succession planning and leadership development, download our white paper entitled “Preparing New Leadership: A Successful  Approach to Succession Planning”.

Download A Whitepaper On Succession Planning

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

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How to Create a Living Strategic Succession Plan

By Leadership Resources 09/16/2019
Chess move as symbol of great strategic planning and choices

The business world rewards both careful planning and spontaneous action. At the same time, conventional wisdom warns against both of these extremes. All of this seems contradictory. How is it that caution and risk both work to our benefit and our detriment? And how can we know which path to take?

Perhaps the solution to this conundrum lies in the balance. Planning or acting on impulse isn’t inherently good or bad, but going too far in one direction can leave you vulnerable. When it comes to promoting employees or shifting leadership roles, you need a system that integrates strategic oversight while also embracing the dynamics of your company’s landscape.

Check Out How to Create a Living Strategic Succession Plan

Focus on the Big Picture

When developing a succession plan, it’s always good to start with the big picture in mind. What’s involved in this picture? Things like your vision, mission, various long-term goals, culture, and areas of your company you wish to maintain, do away with, or improve. With this broad view in mind, you can begin to formulate the types of roles, duties, and leadership qualities required to ensure your business’ continued success. This will help you begin to target those within your organization who might be a good fit for various roles.

Help Your People Grow

No matter how developed or limited your succession plan is, one thing remains constant: you will need good leaders to take over vital roles in your company. And good leaders don’t just fall from the sky; they must be developed and prepared to take on your company’s needs. Your living, breathing succession planning model should focus prominently on leadership training so your people are prepared to take on whatever sudden challenges might arise.

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Respond to the Data

Nothing is set in stone, and your succession plan shouldn’t be either. As you work on developing leaders within your organization, you might find that your regiment isn’t as effective or practical as you had hoped. Perhaps your training is too broad or too narrow. Maybe you’re not giving the right people the right amount of attention. Whatever the case may be, pay attention to how your programs are performing. If they’re not doing well, you must adjust your succession planning strategy accordingly. This might involve bringing in different coaches, hiring new recruits, or outsourcing some of your leadership training programs.

Anticipate Changes

The most important part of ensuring a flexible and effective succession plan is to always keep Murphy’s Law in mind: anything can happen, good or bad. Work with your succession planning team to envision “What If?” scenarios that capture possible changes in your industry, company, or leadership. You don’t want to become paranoid, of course, but the more aware you are of life’s uncertainties, the better prepared you’ll be to make necessary sudden changes with tact. In short, keep calm but look ahead.

Make Routine Updates

Finally, it’s not enough to merely anticipate potential changes. You must also react to the current moment, including any recent changes in your company culture, outlook, outcome, etc. To keep your succession plan alive and well, and to stay on top of these changes, revise it once a quarter or more. What has changed in those few months? What’s working? What’s not? And what will set up your organization for success in the short-term and the long-term?

Opportunity lies somewhere between chaos and order. Your succession plan should be thorough and strong, but also elastic enough to adapt to changes in your organization and the world at large. By finding this balance, you can maintain a steady flow of competent leaders who will bring your business into a bright future.

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

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Succession Planning: Promoting Team Unity Under New Leadership

By Leadership Resources 08/14/2019
Leadership success, hands with red hearth

Businesses that stand the test of time will eventually face the proverbial passing of the torch. Those who have lead the organization for a long time and wish to move on to retirement or other ventures must find the proper candidate to take over their role. This transfer of leadership roles is known as succession. And while succession implies a continuation of the company, it also implies change, which can frighten staff members, especially those directly under the wing of the leader who is leaving.

Current and upcoming leaders must find ways to unite their teams in order to calm these fears and prepare for these changes. Proper succession planning shouldn’t just fill vacant roles with the right people, then, but also put everyone within the organization on the same page. Here we’ll examine a few key ways to promote team unity under new leadership.

How to Promote Team Unity as a New Leader

Reinstate Vision

Every leader, even if they’re occupying the same role at different times, has their own unique leadership style and idiosyncrasies that inform their decision-making. However, above all else, leaders should serve the needs of their organization and their people. This means, regardless of their personal traits, leaders must always keep the company’s greater vision in mind. Under the supervision of their leaders, team members must also work toward this common purpose.

In other words, the company’s vision supersedes the leader and the team, operating as a unifying force in and of itself. No matter who is currently at the helm, the ship is headed in the direction of this vision. By reinforcing and adhering to the company’s vision, new leaders can promote and maintain team unity and the overall organizational culture.

Transition Gradually

Even the most open-minded people struggle with change, especially when it’s abrupt. Among the several benefits of succession planning, the buffer it creates between the old and the new is perhaps the most important. Team members should have the opportunity to get to know their newly appointed leader over a period of time in order to get comfortable with this shift.

Fortunately, it’s likely that most staff members will already know this person, as many succession plans promote someone already within the organization. That said, the change in roles can still throw people for a loop, so the more time everyone has to get used to the new situation, the better. It benefits both the new leader and the team to have several weeks (if possible) where the current leader and upcoming leader work side by side.

Create Team Buy-In

Whenever a new idea comes about, creating team buy-in is a major step in furthering its development. The same goes for a change in leadership. While in most cases the team itself won’t have a say in succession planning issues, they should at least be allowed to offer feedback and advice to their upcoming leader. By empowering the team in this way, individuals within the team will feel more connected to one another, establishing unity and trust.

Change is difficult, but it’s necessary for a business to go on, thrive, and adapt to a dynamic world. During a shift in leadership, however, the current team might begin to fracture and waver. This is why every succession planning model should include measures for promoting team unity during this transition. For deeper insights into succession planning and how to keep your company together during a leadership transfer, download our white paper: “Preparing New Leadership: A Successful  Approach to Succession Planning.”

Download A Whitepaper On Succession Planning

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

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Preparing the Next Leadership Team for Succession

By Leadership Resources 04/13/2019
Leadership Resources Preparing The Next Leadership Team for Succession

In the business world, you’ll find many passionate leaders who seem unlikely to ever leave the company. But our time here is limited, and life has a way of throwing curveballs at us whether we like them or not. It’s simply a fact that if you own a business, one day you and your fellow leaders will have to leave it, whether due to age, health concerns, or personal reasons. Of course, just because you’ll eventually exit the company doesn’t mean the enterprise should shut down too. If you want your business’ legacy to thrive, you’ll have to focus your efforts on succession planning.

What You Need to Know About Succession Planning

What is Succession Planning?

Right now, you may be asking yourself, “what is succession planning?” Simply put, succession planning is how a company secures its future by hiring, promoting, and/or training individuals to take on leadership roles as current leaders leave the enterprise. You might think of it as a ceremonial passing of the torch. As one team leaves, a new team steps in to carry on the business’ mission. Without proper succession planning, a business will struggle to continue its operation, as there will be no one available or remotely prepared to take on these vital leadership roles.

How Do Companies Develop Succession Plans?

The importance of succession planning should be abundantly clear. However, successfully crafting and implementing a succession planning strategy is a different story altogether. Every company differs in size, scope, location, and potential leadership candidates, meaning each organization must create a plan that suits its individual needs. Still, there are certain general guidelines every business should follow when forming a strategy for succession planning.

Start Early

The sooner you consider your exit strategy, the better. You won’t be shipping off tomorrow, of course, but by being ahead of the curve you can outline a plan for how to go about finding optimal replacements. This head start also allows you to start focusing on the leadership development of your current staff members. It takes time to identify the right candidates, let alone train and evaluate them thoroughly enough for the new role. By starting early, you have more time to ensure the right people are on board.

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Clearly Identify Roles, Duties, and Vision

One of the major challenges in succession planning is knowing and clearly communicating what roles and duties need to be fulfilled and how they will help steer the company into the future. If you started the business, you and your partners might know these things inherently. But when it’s time to bring new blood into the fold, you need to flex your leadership communication skills to get everyone on the same page. You might start including potential candidates in more closed-door meetings to help them gain insight into the company’s operations, for instance.

Consider the Plan When Hiring

If you already have a solid team, you’ll have an easier time finding the right people to take over in your absence. However, you’ll likely have to hire some new faces every now and then. With a solid succession planning model, you can hire new recruits with this template in mind. In other words, you’ll be able to hone in on specific traits and leadership qualities present in high-quality employees. Your succession plan should inform every hiring decision you make so you don’t waste any time finding and training the best people for the role.

When your business is growing, the last thing you might think about is leaving. However, failing to consider an exit strategy is a mistake that may cost the legacy of your organization. With proper succession planning, you can develop leaders within the enterprise and ensure the continued development of your business.At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

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