?????????????????????????An important part of leadership in any organization is grooming the next generation to take over when the time comes. Top executives are charged with seeing the big picture and positioning the organization for what’s ahead. The businesses that thrive have a succession plan in place and are constantly refining it to ensure future success. It’s not just at the very top, either. Mid-level managers and even entry-level employees should be evaluated early in their careers for additional roles in the organization. That helps maximize your firm’s personnel, often an organization’s most important resource.

Here are some things to look for in identifying future leaders:

  • A vision for the company’s long-term future. They understand the business and can create new opportunities for business growth amid changing market environments and consumer tastes.
  • Passion for success.
  • Good work habits.
  • Good communication skills. Failure in any endeavor is often caused by a lack of communication.
  • They can adapt their thinking and plans to changing conditions when necessary. They embrace new ideas.
  • Strong relationships and collaboration with co-workers.
  • Appropriate work-life balance. Even those at the highest levels must maintain a life outside the office for their own good and that of the company.

After identifying leadership candidates, they need to be groomed for their potential new roles. Here are some things to remember when mentoring someone:

  • Let them have their say. New leaders may have their own way of doing business that works just as well.
  • What worked in the past might not be appropriate for the future. Candidates may have new business methods to address changing landscapes, embrace their ideas and see things from their perspective.

Having a strong leadership team in place at all times is critical. Take the time to focus on the future, not just the present.