HR professionals have to make a lot of decisions when it comes to investing their organization’s development dollars.
Investing is exactly what they are doing with their budget.
They are hedging a bet on the ROI of spending those dollars in one area vs. another, on one person vs. another, hoping that they are investing wisely and the return on that investment will pay off long term.
This can cause them to believe they should invest in people that hold the top 'titled' positions or the people they already view as top talent… a sure bet.
Every organization has their 'go to' people. The ones you rely on to get things done. The ones you can trust to go the extra mile. With this perspective, it is very easy to unintentionally burn out this top talent while under-utilizing others.
This can leave the organization very vulnerable if the 'go to' people can no longer handle the load and there is no one to step into their shoes.
A manufacturing organization brought in a new GM to help them grow. His vision was to double the business in 2 years and triple it in 4 year.
Within 2 years his vision had been realized and he was gunning for the 4-year vision. What he hadn’t strategically put in place was a career development program for the new leadership positions that were arising out of the growth.
By the time he reached out for support, his Ops Manager and Supply Chain Manager were both exhausted as their areas had doubled the employee base and they were still trying to manage their business units and all the employees themselves.
They recognized they needed a strong development plan that included leadership coaching in order to achieve their 4-year goal in a healthy and successful manner.
How do you decide who is a good candidate for development and coaching?
This article voices the trending concerns of business leaders today,
"Many CEOs also say they regret leaving adequate performers in key positions and failing to realize the full potential of their roles. The best CEOs think systematically about their people: which roles they play, what they can achieve, and how the company should operate to increase people’s impact."
It went on to identify where to look at the 'value creating' roles...
"Of the 50 most value-creating roles in any given organization, only 10 percent normally report to the CEO directly. Sixty percent are two levels below, and 20 percent sit farther down."
Given that 80% of your value-creating talent are at least 2 levels down from the CEO, it makes a good case for the fact that there are many levels in an organization where coaching is creating high value, from front line supervisors to CEO's.
It’s not about the level or job title, it’s about influence and impact
Whether the person is a supervisor on the shop floor or a VP, the question is, what impact are they currently having in the organization and what’s the potential for that impact to be increase through a deeper level of support, development and coaching.
Influence and impact is a key competency to build in your leaders. In fact, in statistics gathered from the thousands of leaders we have coached over the past 7 years, it has been the #1 focus area.
Regardless of their level in the organization, when we coach leaders to have greater influence and impact, we address immediate obstacles and opportunities.
Commonly, we support them by examining key stakeholders, uncovering motivators, addressing fears, reflecting on specific limitations and challenges, and employing influence strategies.
We work through ways to build more trust, add value, gain allies and be more impactful in their presence and communications.
- One of our recent clients was able to influence his peers and boss to direct the departmental budget to kickstart a new worldwide practice.
- Another client used his influence skills to get buy in for a new business development initiative geared at the government sector.
- A third client influenced the new company President resulting in the best debut event ever and she received the President’s Award for her courage and approach.
- Other leaders get promotions, secure new clients, achieve stronger scorecard results and achieve higher employee satisfaction ratings.
These clients came from a variety of levels in their respective organizations.
Influence and impact are critical to strong leadership and strong leadership is critical to organizational success and growth.
Influence and impact needs to happen at all levels in the organization.
Some considerations as you seek that ideal candidate
- Do you have someone who has been a good employee and recently got promoted to a new leadership position? They might be an ideal candidate.
- Do you have a leader who is in a key role and perhaps has experience fast growth in their area and is trying to keep up? They might be an ideal candidate.
- Do you have a leader who is great at most aspects of their role however has 1 area that is holding them back from being as successful and influential as possible? They might be an ideal candidate.
- Do you have a person who you want to retain and keep engaged in the organization for future leadership consideration? They might be an ideal candidate.
- Do you have people waiting in the wings for the baby boomers to retire? They might be ideal candidates.
- Do you have some young, up and coming talent who show the potential to be the future leaders of the organization? They might be ideal candidates.
Our belief is that there is no 'wrong level' at which to offer coaching.
Coaching is proven to help individuals develop faster as they take new concepts and tools and put them into practice immediately.
Having people at every level in the organization that are eager to do this creates a strong pipeline of talent that equals high value in the long term.