How Championing People Makes Companies More Profitable
When you’re in a position of leadership in an organization, it’s natural that people look up to you. After all, it’s leaders who handle the responsibility of making sure operations run effectively, efficiently and even peacefully, and those who do it well usually move up the ladder quickly and are well-compensated.
Eventually your style of leadership, insight and business acumen is going to strike a chord with some of your less experienced colleagues or employees and they’re going to put themselves in position to learn from you.
And why not? It’s people like you they aspire to become. Taking people under your wing and helping them build enough experience to be able to handle the rigors of executive leadership is not only a goodwill mission.
Research shows that the ability to develop leadership directly impacts the bottom line. In fact, one study found that companies with strong leadership pipelines have almost 10% higher profit margins than those with weak one.
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Leadership development has become such an issue as a result of the most basic economic problem: supply and demand. With the baby boomer generation retiring soon, many businesses are facing startling turnovers in their corporate chain.
In fact, some organizations have reported that not only is up to 50% of their senior-level leadership eligible for retirement, but the level beneath that is as well.
While it’s possible to bridge that type of leadership gap with outside help, there are two main disadvantages to that approach. The first, is it’s costly.
Research shows that many executive search firms charge up to 33% (plus expenses) of a new hire’s first salary. Since the average C-suite salary is almost $300k, that means one replacement costs approximately $100K in recruitment fees. Plus expenses. Plus however many other people are retiring.
The second main reason why hiring outside the organization isn’t ideal is because new people, whatever their experience is don’t have any sweat equity in the future of the company.
It’s one thing when your business needs a deep change in its culture to turn things around, but when a business is and has been successful? That’s a different story and leaves the potential for problems.
The Limits of Mentoring
The term “mentoring” these days is almost business jargon, right up there with “bandwidth” and “circle back.”
In the world of digital influencers and personalities, many professionals call anyone who they can learn any tidbit from a mentor, even if they’ve never had a real conversation with them.
Truly mentoring someone goes beyond teaching someone something. It’s a relationship where someone with more experience provides the necessary advice and guidance when asked for or needed. In some ways, it’s like coaching, but it can be more hands-on and even go as far as working alongside each other.
While true mentoring is crucial for building experience in the lower echelons of the corporate ladder, the truth is, it’s often circumstantial -- in an environment where there is such a wide-range of experience, it’s only natural that people show others the ropes.
At every level of leadership, there are those people who you help that you just know have something special. They seem to get it. The higher the stakes, the more they impress you with their ability to come through.
Not only do they exude talent, toughness and work ethic to succeed, but they show passion, too.
These are the people you champion, that you groom and share inside secrets with. These are people you shorten the learning curve for by helping them not repeat the same mistakes you did. Ultimately, they’re the people you want in the trenches with you when the pressure builds.
Actively cultivating the talents of these workers is essential to developing the next wave of company leadership. The truth is, you might groom a few leaders that end up taking opportunities elsewhere, but having an organic culture of leadership development helps ensure that the success you’re building now, continues in the future.
For more information about how David Couper Consulting can help your business strengthen your leadership through the entire organizational chain, send us a message at Info@DavidCouperConsulting.com.
Josh Espinosa is a freelance writer and designer. He also founded The Approachable Music Project, a music education program on a mission to make learning to play easier on people.