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Good Leaders Are Hard to Find

May 5, 2017

find_leaders.jpgRight? Good leaders are hard to find. New leaders have almost a 40% fail rate for their first 18 months on the job. For any organization to grow and thrive, they must be able to find and develop successful leaders that will then find and develop more successful leaders. It only takes one weak link in the chain for an entire department to fail. In this article, I’ve outlined 4 different areas to focus on when hiring your next leader.

1. Hire Great Leaders

Today we work in a world where top organizations are expected to have sophisticated hiring processes for their leadership roles. The hiring approach should be friendly and attractive to any type of candidate. In order to widen the scope of potential candidates, a mobile-optimized hiring process is a must. The process should be customizable and allow users the chance to give a single test or a more abundant array of tools as part of their leadership selection process.

2. Develop Great Leaders

If you have seen a leadership development program, you have probably also seen the lengthy follow-up report that is associated with many of these programs. How many leaders actually take the time to read through their developmental follow-up reports? I would bet there are not many, if any at all. They are busy. They need to get on with the next project. In order to continue to develop great leaders, it requires feedback that's quick and easy, but also consistent.

We now live in a Facebook-Pinterest-Instagram kind of world. That is, these are the type of platforms that are easiest to keep up with and follow. It’s because there is little required of the participant, other than looking and clicking a few buttons here and there. This is the stage where leadership development programs will show the best results.

3. Identify High Potential Talent

Successful companies always plan with the future in mind. One way to ensure your future leadership success is to identify your current employees that have high potential to be successful leaders within your organization. Once these individuals have been identified, the work is not over. This is a crucial time where you can take advantage of developing their attributes or skills that may be lacking before they are actually in a leadership role. Also, letting these individuals know that you recognize their talent and want to develop them into leaders will strengthen their perception of the company and reduce potential turnover.

4. Understanding Your Workforce

If the right leadership tool is implemented, you will be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses in your leadership and overall workforce. This can be done through data collection, identifying trends and correlations, reporting information where it makes the most sense, and then making decisions and changes based on your findings. The decisions should be driven by a solid, organized, and objective process. The outcomes may include major or minor decisions made in the areas of developmental efforts, training programs, IDPs, hiring needs, and succession planning needs.

Sometimes the difference between a thriving company and one on the brink of bankruptcy comes down to the leadership hired early on and throughout the life of the business. The approach to finding, developing, retaining, coaching, and understanding your leadership is often different from one company to another. However, these are the key elements that will be commonplace in those approaches that succeed.

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Trevor McGlochlin Trevor McGlochlin is a Research Analyst at PSI. He earned a Master of Science degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Florida Institute of Technology. His areas of expertise include selection, employee turnover, organizational development, applied research, and statistical analyses. His analysis work is centered around validation, adverse impact, turnover analyses, assessment scoring, and other data analysis.