Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Practical Guide for Developing Leaders

Here's a practical guide for developing leaders, adapted from June Delano, a colleague and mentor, now with Monitor Executive Development.

While the guide does not include everything a leader needs to learn, it does offer ideas for developing people before and during new leadership assignments. And of course, every company is different, so you'd need to adapt the list to fit your company's organizational structure.

Before selection as a supervisor, people should have development and some experience in:
· Team and project leadership
· Basic budgeting and accounting
· Communicating to individuals and small groups
· Training, peer coaching

As first-level supervisors, people should have development in basic supervisory skills:
· Coaching and giving feedback
· Managing performance
· Leading groups
· Developing people

Before selection as a manager, people should have development and some experience in:
· Leading multi-functional or cross-organizational teams
· Handling diverse and multiple tasks
· Influence and relationship-building (personal style and impact)
· Understanding the business system

As managers, people should have development in:
· Basic finance, marketing and commercialization
· Doing business globally and cross-culturally
· Communicating to large groups
· Recruiting and retaining talent
· Leading change and culture
· Developing and implementing strategy

Before selection as an executive, people should have development and some experience in:
· General management (including P&L management)
· Managing multiple functions and geographies
· Understanding your company’s business environment and industry trends
· Building external networks
· Working with senior executives
· Organizational leadership (personal style and impact)
· Line and staff assignments

As an executive, people should have development in:
· Handling media and government relations
· Managing organizations at different stages of maturity
· Recruiting and nurturing high-potential talent
· Developing and implementing growth strategies
· Working with alliances, mergers, JV’s and acquisitions
· Serving on external boards, projects and/or ventures

As an officer, people should have development in:
· Global trends affecting the business
· National and global politics
· Managing a global workforce
· Handling investor relations
· Working with the Board
· Board of Director assignments


Anonymous said...

This is quite a handy reference piece, with good development flow. As a six sigma black belt I always try to encourage team leaders to get at lease a yellow belt or equivalent and managers to get a green belt. I am also a fan of people getting some project management experience along the way.

Though I am biased, I think the stuff you have provided will help a lot of people to develop their succession planning.


Anonymous said...

Great reference piece indeed Dan - I love how leadership always seems to come back to the fundamentals!

I featured your post in my weekly Rainmaker 'Fab Five' blog picks of the week which can be found here:

Be Well!

Dan McCarthy said...

Ian -
Right, some companies even require belts prior to promotion. Thanks.

Chris -
Thanks for the honor!

john castledine said...

Great concise summary - thanks

I still find the classic text 'The Leadership Pipeline' by Charan et al very helpful in guiding the 'pacing' of talent development

Dan McCarthy said...

John -
Agree, a must-have book for leadership development! thanks

Eclecticity said...

Great guideline Dan! Thanks! D.

Dan McCarthy said...

E -
Thanks! Hope you can put them to use.