In the Talent Edge 2020: Blueprints for the new normal study, (Deloitte December 2010); leadership and emerging leaders were high priorities in terms of both development and retention: More than six in ten (64%) have a high or very high fear of losing high-potential talent and leadership. In 2016, in my opinion, little has changed in this regard.
“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.”
― John C. Maxwell
There is an anxiety attached to talent development, and in my experience, the foundation of the experience is infused in the discussions about investment versus risk. Companies who fail to invest in their emerging leaders, for fear of wasting their money, believing the leaders will ultimately leave, are missing some key benefits and responsibilities.
The leader of today wants a brighter tomorrow. They (male and female) have healthy interests and passions outside of the workplace and they no longer believe that their career is the pinnacle of success for them.
Lifestyle has replaced work-life-balance and a flexible attitude to performance and outcomes is very attractive to the emerging leader.
Gold watches... 20 years of service awards... titles... none of these hold the same value as they did for our parent's generation. Life is short and the emerging leaders are not planning on working themselves into their graves. They want and need more from those who hire them...
Travel - Personal AND Professional Growth - Community Contribution (legacy) - Family/Social-Interests Time - Challenge - Variety - Creativity - Collaborative Experiences... these are the values and attributes our new leaders are seeking out. Guess what! If they can't find them, they create them. The start-up sector is booming and is fuelled by passionate people who cannot find what they seek as an experience in a career or have taken their life and lifestyle into their own hands. Corporate Australia is losing talent to lifestyle (start-ups) daily.
Read more about the state of Australian start-ups here.
So if you want to attract, develop and retain high quality leaders in your company or organisation (and why would you not!), here are some thought expanders for you to contemplate...
When focused specifically upon Leadership:
How does your organisation define leadership?
What leadership VALUES (the expectation which, when breached, creates a negative experience) does your organisation live and breathe - not just have printed in a mission statement or charter?
Do you expect your leaders to stay or do you feel the responsibility of creating the experiences that has them wanting to stay?
Are you abreast of each Leader's COMPELLING WHY? That 'thing' that works for them uniquely and has them jumping out of bed to start their day with enthusiasm in your organisation?
Are your leaders involved in the future strategy conversations in your business?
Are your leaders placed in a box and chastised for stepping outside of their lines? Or are they encouraged to work as a team who challenge themselves and each other?
Do you compare your Leadership Development Programs (LDP) to outcomes and industry benchmarks? Do you have an LDP?
Have you noticed that I have not yet asked for you to measure your leaders performance or technical traits? Hmmmmm
I spend 100% of my professional time developing leadership talent. Our conversations are rarely about process, policy or systems. What we DO expand is awareness, values, people strategies, communication, personal limits...
Experience is what drives us, not knowledge, but feelings... we seek out the experiences that will bring us the states we desire (and these can be both negative and positive). Creating an environment where Emerging Leaders are free to grow and shine, is not just a 'nice' idea, it is becoming essential.
I urge all businesses to accept the null hypothesis: "Leadership Development is a critical component of profitable business development. People Create Profit." - - Helen Treloar