Cultivating the Next Generation of Leaders

Learn how to cultivate young leaders to take on the next level of leadership and leave an organization better than they found it.

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Great things can come from giving new leaders some tools, and then promoting deliberate practice of those new skills. 

I am passionate (read: obsessed) with the development of the next generation of our leaders. Let’s break this down together.

The Next Generation

In leadership roles, this is largely Millennials. Let me start by saying we are fundamentally having the wrong conversations about Millennials. Unlike the callous stereotypes, what I see is a group of passionate individuals who are excited to do something with meaning and impact. Let’s harness that energy and point it in the direction of preparing them to take on the next level of leadership and leave our organizations better than they found it.

Our Leaders

They are ours – we own this. Whether we asked for it or not, it is the role of executive leaders to seek out their successors, to develop them with the critical skills needed to be the leader not just the doer, and get the hell out of the way to let them lead. The next generation of our leaders is critical to our success.

So, What Do We Do Next?

Double down on the generation that is coming into your leadership ranks and asking for your leadership.

This can be accomplished by showing them the ropes (mentoring/training), helping them find their own ropes (coaching), and providing a cultural climate in your organization that enables their growth and success (team culture). Great things can come from giving new leaders some tools, and then promoting deliberate practice of those new skills (see more on Anders Ericsson’s research on deliberate practice). If our next gen leaders are missing any of these pieces, they may not see what excellence looks like, find their own voice and space, or feel supported organizationally to move forward, respectively. Cultivate your young leaders and they will pay you back in spades of loyalty, commitment, and better ideas than you could dream of.

About the author: Katie Rasoul is the Chief Awesome Officer at Team Awesome, and is out to “write” the wrongs of stereotypes of her generation. To find out what it would be like to move your next generation of leaders forward, contact us about our Next Gen leader development programs.

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