Why we’re failing our emerging leaders – and what we can do about it

This recent study by Deloitte found that good leadership is the top priority for a healthy business, according to 80 percent of the respondents.

But only 25 percent of them said their organisation was actively building leaders to meet new challenges.

It seems like many organisations simply aren’t investing enough in the next generation of leaders – and it’s going to damage our industries and companies in the future if we don’t do something about it.

We’re experiencing a widening gap between our organisation’s values and the systems we actually practice  – mainly because there’s a mismatch in what the leadership requirements are and what we’re training for.

In the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, it’s estimated that tech automation will make 85 million jobs redundant and create 97 million new ones – a higher proportion of which will be at a management or leadership level.

It’s never been more important to be supporting and training our up-and-coming leaders to transition into these roles, yet many organisations aren’t investing in this space effectively.

Why we keep failing:

The most senior and highest-performing employees are often given the most attention, offered additional support, and pushed to attend leadership development programmes. While this seems to make sense, investing in already successful leaders doesn’t help carve out the space for other leaders in your organisation to learn and grow.

It’s what Harvard researchers describe as the leadership development paradox, and it causes a problematic skills gap between those at the top level and everyone else. Not only does this mean new or mid-level leaders are met with a significant disadvantage when it comes to promotions and development, but it also leaves organisations unprepared for their own future.

The key to avoiding this paradox is to invest in a broader group of leaders. Tap into your people who have proven learning agility, those leaders who are motivated to learn and who have leadership potential, and those solid performers who have already cut their teeth in a management role but lack confidence and could do with further leadership training.

The Leaders Map

Back in 2019, building on years of research, I developed The Leader’s Map – a blended leadership development programme specifically designed to cover the skills necessary to become an effective leader. It has online self-directed learning, combined with group coaching sessions. We now have a number of organisations who have put hundreds of emerging leaders through this programme and are seeing great results.

Even better – the programme can be customised to the needs of your organisation.

Over the course of eight modules, the programme helps emerging and mid-level leaders to:

  • Define their leadership brand and grow self awareness
  • Productively give, seek and receive feedback
  • Become an outstanding coach
  • Manage their own (and their team’s) time and priorities
  • Understand and practice useful wellbeing strategies for themselves and their team
  • Create and support a high-performing team
  • Manage performance (and non performance) effectively
  • Lead themselves and their teams through change

The Leader’s Map is a cost-effective way to develop and support your up-and-coming leaders – helping to set your organisation up for a stronger, more sustainable future.

Get in touch today to chat about what The Leader’s Map could do for your organisation and your emerging team members.

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Suzi McAlpine

Suzi McAlpine is a Leadership Development Specialist and author of the award-winning leadership blog, The Leader’s Digest. She writes and teaches about accomplished leadership, what magic emerges when it’s present, and how to ignite better leadership in individuals, teams and organisations. Suzi has been a leader and senior executive herself, working alongside CEOs and executive teams in a variety of roles. Her experience has included being a head-hunter, an executive coach, and a practice leader for a division at the world’s largest HR consulting firm. Suzi provides a range of services as a Leadership Development Specialist, including executive coaching, leadership workshops and development programmes for CEOs, leadership teams and organisations throughout New Zealand.

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