Why you should be growing your future leaders and 5 ways to do it right

Why you should be growing your future leaders and 5 ways to do it right

We are about to face a shortage of leadership. Our aging workforce is fast reaching the stage where people are ready to retire. That means we’re going to lose our most experienced leaders. While we have clever and hard-working young talent coming on board, they can’t just step up and take over.


You might be thinking, “What’s the fuss? We’ve still got some good leaders with us.”


That’s not enough for the future.


McKinsey&Co did some research and found that “a small group of excellent leaders is not sufficient to steer an ambitious business… A critical mass of excellent leaders is required to trigger and sustain corporate growth. To outperform the competition, organisations must grab, develop, and retain an unfair share of exceptional talent.”

What the research tells us about the state of leadership

Without leadership, business struggles and doesn’t thrive. This is just some of what we know:

  • Firebrand Talent research tells us 34% of employees attributed their decision to leave the company with their manager/leadership.
  • Research by Harvard Business Review reveals 58 percent of people say they trust strangers more than their own boss.
  • Better leadership can generate a 3-4% improvement in customer satisfaction scores and a corresponding 1.5% increase in revenue growth.
  • The cost of staff turnover ranges from 16% of salary for hourly employees, up 213% for executive leaders.


Most leaders rise through the ranks because they are good at their jobs – technical and system work, not leading people. There’s an obvious gap here that needs to be filled – the leadership pipeline.


If we don’t prepare people for the leadership role, we’ll go nowhere.


Being a leader isn’t easy, even for those we regard as naturals. They need tools, techniques, training and experience to manage the things life will throw at them.


More money is spent on leadership development than any other area of corporate training yet 71% of companies don’t feel that their leaders can lead them into the future. Traditional leadership training hasn’t been successful, and why would it? Sitting in a training room learning leadership in pieces without transferring it into the real world?


A typical tale of leadership


This is probably a familiar tale. Your leader has just finished leadership training and arrived back in the workplace ready to start being a better leader. Your next team meeting takes a long time because your leader is taking the time to talk to each member before getting stuck into the items on the agenda. (It’s important to build a connection with your team, you know. The training said so.)


This sets the pattern for future meetings, but you can see your leader getting bored with “building connections”, so the chat gets shorter and shorter and team members learn to hold back on what they say.


After a few weeks, meetings have slipped back into “work focus” mode and your leader has forgotten all about building those relationships.


One day, a member brings up a vaguely personal issue at the meeting. (There’s always water cooler gossip that needs to be cleared up, isn’t there?) Frustrated that this kind of talk is intruding on the meeting, your leader shuts down the topic, leaving the team feeling annoyed and disrespected.


Later, the leader realises he’s handled the situation badly, but it’s too late now. He thinks to himself, “One day I’ll see if there was anything in my training notes about this sort of thing” but of course, there’s never time to do it…


Training alone doesn’t change behavior.


How to build unstoppable leaders

Creating new leaders – unstoppable leaders – needs to be done differently. It should start with the individual and build from there.


Leaders grow through self-reflection and understanding, their experiences, and through their interactions with others.


Without an understanding of themselves, their beliefs and values, and why they have the thoughts and reactions they do, there’s no foundation for growth or for developing real relationships with others. Until you can lead yourself, you can’t effectively lead anyone else.


That’s where I’ve started with my Unstoppable Leader Program. It’s a 9-pillar program with neuroscience backing, which focuses on the 3 CORE AREAS of leadership (Leading Self, Leading Others, and Leading Business) and the 3 KEY ATTRIBUTES of each core area. Because our emotions drive our thoughts and actions, that is where the program begins.


By the end of the program, leaders have all the tools and techniques they need to become inspiring, authentic, and adaptable leaders who have the respect of the people they interact with. They will understand how to influence people towards better performance and increased satisfaction. Throughout the program we use real-time, specific situations to implement changed behaviour and skills.   


Overview of the program

CORE AREA: Self-leadership

Pillar 1- Emotional intelligence

When you develop your emotional intelligence skills, you show up as your authentic self; youre able to empower and inspire people to achieve their goals and objectives. Your courage, passion, visionary thinking, and your powerfully persuasive skills will be more clearly evident to those around you.


Pillar 2 - Self-awareness.

Strong and capable leaders know themselves and this is the starting point for growth, and the first step ineffective leadership. Its the foundation upon which emotional and social intelligence is built.


Self-awareness is the ability to objectively evaluate yourself and to question your instincts, patterns, and assumptions, so you make the best choices not just the easiest.


Pillar 3 - Authority & Executive Presence

These factors distinguish a thought leader from the pack. When they speak, people listen and when they leave, the party is over.


CORE AREA: Leading Others

Pillar 4 – Leverage Human Behaviour

Human needs define human nature and behaviour. To get the best out of others, you must learn to understand human behaviour, how people think, feel and act. Your job is to consider human behaviour to create high performance.


Pillar 5 - Master Influence

Influence and persuasion are skills that work together; two sides of the same coin. Great leaders know influence and persuasion isn’t about talking people into something or forcing a decision. Instead, it’s an advanced communication skill which comes from a place of genuine interest in others.


Pillar 6 – Empower High Performance

If you want to lead your team in a different direction, the best way is to guide their thinking, so they see the same goals you do and map their own way to them. Great leaders connect and lead with both their heart and their head.


CORE AREA: Leading Business

Pillar 7 – Actively Problem Solve

Leaders play a crucial role in the creative problem-solving process but it’s a skill few possess. To stay competitive in a changing market, businesses rely on leaders to actively generate clever solutions with their teams.


Pillar 8 – Cultivate Critical Thinking

Critical thinking skills, including problem-solving and adaptability, are essential to leadership success, as is clear, rational, logical, and independent thinking. Its about improving your thinking by analysing, assessing, and rebuilding how you think, and how your team thinks.


Pillar 9 - Nurture Adaptability Quotient

Your Adaptability Quotient, AQ, matters more than any other metric when disruption surrounds you when the pressure is on, and the stakes are high. Leaders who can quickly adapt to changing circumstances – and help their teams adapt – are the leaders who are future fit.


You can read more about the program on my website.


Grow unstoppable leaders

You can’t rely on standard or traditional training to produce the kinds of leaders we need to take us into tomorrow. They aren’t unstoppable if they haven’t built the right foundations and that means starting with themselves. When they get it right, they thrive in both their personal and professional lives.


The program works. I’ve coached over 100 senior leaders and added over $25million more revenue to the companies they work with.


If you can see the potential benefits for yourself or your leadership team (and don’t forget your future leaders), contact me via email at info@carolinekennedy.com.au or private message me on LinkedIn. 


I would love to help you build your own team of unstoppable leaders.


Plus if youd like to find out how your current leadership measures up against the 9 Unstoppable Leadership Accelerators - Check out the FREE ONLINE ASSESSMENT

Let’s do this.


The post \"Why you should be growing your future leaders and 5 ways to do it right\" was first published by Caroline Kennedy here https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-you-should-growing-your-future-leaders-5-ways-do-right-kennedy-/


About Caroline Kennedy

Im not your average coach because Ive walked the c-suite path.

I support Executives to Intensify their Influence, Impact, and Income.

My background, while extensive, isnt traditional; Im a former CEO in the private and corporate sector before jumping ship to help others intensify their impact.

With over 25 years of experience, Ive earned my blackbelt the hard way.

Ive led multinational companies, with annual revenues up to $250 million. Ive delivered outcomes such as taking a company from $38Million to $55Million in 18 months in the global financial crisis.

It was such an honour for my achievements in business to be acknowledged twice by the Telstra Business Womens Awards and by the International Stevie Awards in 2019 & 2021.

I draw on my extensive background in business and leadership, bringing a multi-dimensional approach combining coaching, mentoring, and consulting methodology to break comfort zones and facilitate long-term growth and development.

As humans, were all built differently, so theres no one-size-fits-all here. My methods are Neuroscience, human behaviour-based, and tailored specifically to the leaders I work alongside.

My job is to support executive leaders to BREAKTHROUGH and take their impact and performance to another level - no matter how successful they already are - in the areas that matter most: their business, leadership, teams, and careers.

My approach is honest and constructive, basically no BS, and Ill call you out when youre limiting yourself.

Im notorious for having shamelessly ambitious clients, working with individuals and organisations, such as PWC, Westpac, Government Leaders, Directors in the Education space, Engineering Directors, CBA, Wesfarmers, Tech & IT owners, Medical Executives, Rydges, Fortune 500 companies and more.

I work with:

- Boards
- MDs, CEOs, C-suite Executives and Leadership Teams
- Management Teams

Caroline Kennedy
This article was written by Caroline a Guest at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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