In his article, “How to Grow Leadership from Within Your Company,” David Williams cites a recent Forbes study that found “of America’s 100 largest companies, 86% of CEO’s were appointed from within company ranks.”
This is certainly a strong endorsement for making an effort to develop leadership from within your company. And it is surprising that more companies and organizations don’t understand that growing leadership from within allows for a consistent culture and strategy that often results in long-term, sustainable success.
Williams provides three suggestions for how to grow leadership from within. First, help leaders grow by empowering them through mentorship and delegation. Give employees additional responsibility to allow them to lead and grow. Then mentor them by letting them see and observe great leadership. Williams notes that many of the best leaders were mentored by great leaders. So it’s important to expose young employees with leadership potential to strong, experienced leaders in the organization.
Second, be patient. It takes time and intentional effort to develop great leaders so be patient and allow your employees to grow and find their leadership path.
Third, avoid bait and switch tactics. Don’t talk about promoting from within, or even promise to promote an employee, and then bring in leaders from the outside. This tactic hurts morale and can damage the culture of the organization. I realize that there are times when it might be necessary to go outside to get a special skill or knowledge where your organization may be deficient. At these times, it is important to be very transparent, to communicate clearly with your team, and to let them know why an internal promotion is not possible. This will help to lessen the damage to morale and culture.
The leaders from America’s 100 largest companies provide great evidence of the benefits of growing leaders from within. Although this may not always be possible, make every effort to identify and promote leaders from within your organization. The benefits that come from a consistent culture, morale, and strategy are significant and will help your organization find success.
Thanks for reading,
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