3 Leadership Competencies: Training high potentials & young leaders to move agendas

sbachPosted on 11-30-2016, by:Samuel B. Bacharach
Bacharach Leadership Group

leadership2One of HR’s critical responsibilities is ensuring a leadership pipeline.

It is continuity, transference, and evolution of leadership skills that sustains the organization. The question is, what type of leaders will ensure that your organization will thrive?

The first step is identifying your “high potentials” — those who know the business, have the respect for others, possess ambition, can work within teams, and have the courage to make hard calls.  But identification is not enough.  It’s your job to ensure these employees are trained and equipped with the skills required of today’s leaders.

One of the most important – and least talked about – skills,  is the ability to move an agenda or project through the corporate maze. Your high potentials may know how to do their jobs, but in a complex organization, can they move agendas? Are they able to lead an idea from discovery to concrete implementation?

To make sure that your high potentials are prepared for the leadership pipeline, and are able to carry the organization into the future, they need to be trained in three leadership competencies.

  1. Innovation Competence. Organizations cannot survive without ideation and innovation.  High potentials need to become familiar with the process of ideation, and have experience in seeing the creativity process unfold, from the proposal stage to prototype to final implementation.  There are specific skills that high potentials need to develop to help them create a safe environment where teams are free to risk and discuss ideas while collaborating with one another.
  1. Political Competence. Having chosen an idea to pursue is a start.  In fact, there are hundreds of ideas floating around any organization at any given moment.  The challenge for high potentials is to map the political terrain, anticipate resistance, build effective coalitions, and get the buy-in. These are specific behavioral leadership skills that high potentials need to develop.
  1. Managerial Competence. Getting an idea off the ground in the early stages of development is one thing—getting people on board and securing the necessary resources [is another]—but teams can get burned out and ideas can fall to the wayside. It is important for high potentials to sustain momentum to get results.  This is about having the skills to enhance team members—that is, having the ability to mentor, coach, and develop team members. Having the ability to engage and enhance teams will help high potentials ensure effective and efficient implementation.

To move your organization into the future, it is important that your future leaders—your high potentials—have the competencies and skills necessary to anticipate challenges, come up with innovative solutions and products, and sustain momentum for results. LE



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