The AMA Handbook of Leadership

By Marshall Goldsmith; John Baldoni et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7

The Leader's Role in Growing New Leaders

Beverly Kaye

Developing valued employees is particularly critical during periods of economic uncertainty. If organizations are to remain productive during a down cycle, leaders must commit to engaging and retaining the talent that is needed to simultaneously support the organization for the present and the future. This not only means the development of top leadership bench strength but the recognition and development of emerging potential leaders as well.

Although leaders will agree on the importance of this responsibility, they will also complain that they simply don't have the time to attend to this function, especially at the time of this writing, when everyone is forced to do more with less; and there is a belief that this kind of initiative takes time, and lots of it.

Although they don't mean to, leaders often take their top performers for granted. The focus is on the task at hand and the factors impacting the organization's productivity, with attention to people often taking a backseat. This is a natural response to tough times; after all, there's only so much time in a given day, and those hours have extended way beyond what they once were.

Sadly, the truth is that when the going is tough there is even more reason to focus on talent in the organization and to continually collaborate with employees on their development and growth. Great leaders know that they absolutely cannot put the development of the next generation of leaders on a back burner. This investment in the future is one that no organization can afford to ignore.

-75-

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