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Four Tips for Developing Leaders Like Your Future Depends on It

Succession planning is vital to the long-term health and viability of organizations; yet, succession planning does not come naturally for most organizations. There is profound inertia to the status quo. You have skilled leaders at the helm of your organization, why fret? When those leaders reach retirement, will there be individuals ready for the passing of the mantle? What should you be doing today to cultivate the leaders of tomorrow? We have four tips:

1. Cast vision. Cultivate a culture of growth and passion by communicating your vision for your organization to young (potential) leaders. Leaders begin as followers of a vision. Connect them to values and practices that will ignite their passion.

2. Share authority. It is easier to do things yourself. Delegating takes work. Be willing to relinquish control so that others can grow. Explain your ideas and allow them to be implemented. Be aware that they probably won’t do it the way you would and that may reveal their strengths and insights. Empower them by sharing decision-making and tasks.

3. Reward work. If you have an employee who is stepping up and taking initiative, watch their outcomes and give them additional responsibility and leeway if they are achieving results.

4. Recognize accomplishments. Take time to call out the good that individuals are achieving. This should be a blend of public praise and personal affirmation. Note the results that exceeded expectation in a meeting by Jane and also send a personal email to Brett congratulating him on a job well done.

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