In most organizations the front line leader (aka the "hiring manager") are the main point of contact for 75 to 80 percent of the people that make up the organization. The individual contributors within an organization look to their direct supervisor as the link between them and the organization's strategic plan. The problem is that once they're in this front line leadership role many are left to their own devices. They either sink or swim but the impact on the people that report to them can have serious implications to the performance of the organization. Just check out the employee engagement results in most organizations.

Here are 5 reasons that you should be investing more time, effort and money into developing the leadership capabilities of your organization:

Employee Engagement
  • An employee's relationship with their direct supervisor is the single most important factor in employee engagement
  • Engaged employees are happier and more productive, they're invested in what they do and are committed to their own success as well as to the success of the company. A disengaged employee will do what is necessary to keep receiving a paycheck while an engaged employee will go the extra mile. The gap between the two can be the difference between the success and failure of an organization.
You Can't Learn To Swim By Reading About It
  • There's an assumption that everyone knows how to lead. Heck, they were successful as an individual contributor, they're bright and energetic, they'll figure it out. Right? Wrong! You wouldn't hand the keys to your car over to your child and let them figure it out on their own. You also wouldn't just give them some books to read and hope that they make the right connections. David Kolb's model of experiential learning is based on a four stage cycle of learning that is considered truly seminal work in our understanding of how people learn.
  • Leadership is counter intuitive for many. Most emerging leaders are great problem solvers and they think that's what their role on the front lines is. People bring them problems and they tell them how to fix 'em. The problem is, that does nothing to build organizational capability.
  • Emerging leaders need to be shown how and then have the opportunity to practice. What other professions just dive into the game without practicing their craft? A leadership development program should include lots of opportunity to practice.
It's Sound Business Management
  • Clear objective setting, structured performance evaluation systems, honest and open feedback and communication, etc., aren’t rocket science.  In fact, they’re way easier than rocket science.  Which is why companies ought to get them right.
  • In today's ultra competitive business environment we tend to focus on efficient leadership (those that get results) rather than the combination of effective and efficient leadership. The organization ends up with results, but at what cost? The effective leader knows how to get results with and through people rather than in spite of them. Think of it as the combination of doing things right and doing the right things.
Succession Planning
  • Many of the young managers of today will become the leaders of tomorrow.  (And if your company is just going out and hiring leaders instead of developing your own talent, you have to ask: Why?)
  • Several of my clients have used the McQuaig behavioral assessment to help them identify the right behavioral fit for existing leadership roles. The advantage is that they have been able to create strong mentoring relationships between senior leaders and emerging talent. They're passing on the organizational intelligence to the next generation
Avoiding Expensive Litigation
  • You have your outstanding leaders, your okay ones, and your downright incompetent ones who can do a lot of damage. In business, consistency of leadership is a good thing and that's why it's imperative to improve the leadership capabilities of the underperformers.
  • Respected well-trained managers boost morale, and improved morale boosts employee engagement and ultimately retention. As you know, it’s incredibly expensive to hire and fire.
  • It’s even more expensive to deal with employee lawsuits… plus the resulting bad PR.


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