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Four Ways for Selecting and Developing Capable, Confident Leaders

leader being selected from a group

During times of economic uncertainty, shifting work conditions, and global crises, companies need capable leaders that drive results more than ever.

They need leaders who can adapt to change, maintain communication, and guide their organizations toward brighter horizons. Organizations need leaders that see a crisis as a challenge and as an opportunity to create something even better than before.

So, what can companies do to evaluate who the right leaders are for high-impact roles? And what can organizations do to engage these leaders to perform their roles successfully and drive the results needed to survive an economic downturn? The post below explores four methods companies can implement to select the right leaders and engage them fully in their roles.

  1. Job Fit: While being selective in hiring may not be a priority for many businesses during times of economic uncertainty and the difficult job market, surviving definitely is. Companies can increase their odds of survival and success by aligning employees with roles where they can excel.
    • Identify incumbent key people that the company needs to advance vital projects and initiatives.
    • Re-evaluate roles, team design, and job requirements, even if it places extra pressure on managers and leaders that already feel heightened stress during times of crisis. It is critical to know what success looks like.
    • Do they have what it takes? Job Fit has everything to do with whether a leader is going to succeed or fail. Hire and promote only those who fit the model of success in every role. For example, if you put a person who is afraid to delegate or make tough decisions into a leadership position, it may be difficult for them to succeed and may cause additional stress and tension, as well as disengagement and poor performance. 
    • Know all your employees and candidates at a deeper level. You can consistently place the right individual in the right position every time if you measure what makes them tick: their cognitive ability, behavioral traits, their potential, motivations and interests – and then align them with the job requirements.
    • Don’t guess – use assessments that provide you with the information you need to ensure Job Fit.

  1. Feedback: Feedback provides one of the most effective tools for developing leaders. People in general don’t know what they don’t know. Leaders can feel isolated and lack information and opportunities to learn and grow. Honest feedback (even when it’s harsh) is a gift. Self-awareness is the first step to crafting a meaningful development plan. The more leaders know about how others perceive them, the more they’ll be able to learn about themselves and improve at what they do. Feedback allows leaders to raise their level of self-awareness and adapt to the needs of their teams and shifting circumstances. With that knowledge, leaders can adjust to meet the needs of their teams and organizations. There are many tools and software available for gathering regular and just-in-time feedback that informs leaders of the areas of focus and improvement.

  1. Coaching and Training: Helping leaders know more about themselves and how others perceive their leadership abilities is a great place to start. The next step in developing leaders is to ensure they have the tools to create a lasting behavioral change.  You may need to double down on coaching and training, which help leaders flex and build their leadership muscle —especially during difficult times. If your company restructures teams and roles, make sure it supports its leaders with training and coaching to keep them engaged and driving results.
    • Start by defining your expectations for each leader and identify the missing pieces: do they need to go through standardized leadership training program to hone their leadership skills or do they need to work with a leadership coach one-on-one to work on their mindset and removing the barriers in the way of their future success. 
    • Do your leaders know your company core values and mission? How do they know their contributions matter? Make sure leaders in your organization understand your company’s culture, job processes, and systems and how their newly acquired skills can contribute to organizational success.
    • With remote work on the rise, there are many great opportunities to give your leaders access to mentors in other locations that can help with their development. We can learn a lot from people who’ve found success as leaders already—no matter how seasoned we are.
  2. Motivation: In general, there are 3 reasons people don’t do what they are supposed to do: they don’t know WHAT to do, they don’t know HOW to do it or they don’t CARE. Do your company’s leaders know organization’s core values and the “why” behind them? Is what they do important to them and motivates them to be the best they can possibly be?  As with anything else, if people feel motivated to do something, they’ll likely follow through on it.

JobFit ensures that leaders have what it takes to inspire and lead. Feedback provides them with the knowledge (WHAT)of their blind spots and what to work on to continue growing. Coaching and training gives them the tools to achieve success (HOW).  How do you make them CARE?

  • Invest in them and their success through coaching, training and other learning opportunities.
  • Create leadership career paths so they can visualize their future with your company—even if the future seems difficult or full of uncertainty. Career pathing can help leaders visualize their goals, connect with a sense of purpose, maintain their motivation, and work even harder.
  • Also, don’t forget to recognize your leaders for significant performances and achievements – in a way that is meaningful to them. Some like public praise because they value their reputation above all. Others want a monetary award or token plaque.
  • Always strive to leverage their talents. If one leader is best at generating new ideas, bring them in on your brainstorming sessions. Leaders who are most charismatic should be involved in communication and persuading others to buy into a new vision.

As you select and engage your leaders to achieve success, keep this in mind—leaders don’t just appear, they don’t come already “assembled”. Like anyone else, they need continuous training, development, encouragement, and room to make mistakes, learn and grow. Keep the lines of feedback and communication open. If your leaders have what they need to succeed, they can give the rest of your organization what it needs to succeed as well.

For more information on a solution that uses feedback, insights, and reliable data to develop capable, confident, and successful leaders, click here to connect with us.

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