What’s the definition of leadership in your organization? If I were to ask 10 people would I get a consistent answer to the question? Better yet, would they even be in the same ballpark? If I was to ask what are the critical challenges facing the organization today and in the future, would you be able to tell me that you have the right leadership in place to support the organization? What we find at Prescient is that most organizations are unsure. They don’t consistently define what leadership is, let alone develop a strategy for how they expect leaders to act or develop.
So the question becomes one about priority. We hear all of the time about CEO’s seeing lack of critical talent and leadership as a top 3 concern year over year (most times it lands top of list), but ironically there’s not much done about it, and that’s unfortunate. It doesn’t have to be this way. If it’s a top concern, it should be a top priority. So why is it that most organizations don’t take the time to spell out specifically what they mean by leadership and what the intent is to make it more developed, and less of a concern across the organization?
This is something that can be fixed. Leaders can be developed, and it’s not just through programs, but mostly through experience and exposure. If critical talent gaps and leadership concerns are top on your list, it’s high time you do something about it. There’s no reason for this to continue. There are solutions to build a stronger bench. It just takes time, commitment, consistency and investment. The investment that you make has longer term payoff, it will take some time to see the results, but all good things are worth waiting for.
It’s not too late to start building out your leadership strategy, to align it to your day-to-day organizational strategy and to make it part of your 5 year plans. If you want to move your organization forward, you need people and leaders. It’s that simple. It’s time you start putting leadership as a priority in your organization.