Develop or Hire Your Leaders?
Develop Or Hire Your Leaders?
Internally develop or hire your organization’s leaders, that’s the question. Does it make more sense to bring in young talent and groom them for leadership positions at higher levels? Or simply hire someone already trained and ready to deliver? Both options have a certain amount of merit depending on the position and the organization. The bigger question here however; which track develops the best leader for your organization? Doing so internally brings with it a certain cost in resources and time. What is your expected return on that cost?
How the company goes about identifying young leadership talent is an easy task in many situations. Natural leaders often rise to the top early and obviously. It’s the other half of the equation that makes it difficult for many organizations. If needing a steady flow of up and coming young first line supervisors, an organization often runs dry of talent quickly. Who is up next? What if they what you’re looking for, lack the confidence, ability to lead, and so on. Someone must step up, so you pick the “best” you can from what is left. You identify them, train them and allow them to begin supervising teams. Often there is little time or effort put into learning or mentorship unless an organization is fully engaged in leadership development. Most are not.
Build From Within When You Can
I always advocate for building your leaders from within when you can. This provides you with the most invested individuals that normally have the best interest of the organization in mind when making decisions. Not always, but normally. Often, certain technical supervisors are not easily groomed from within. It may be necessary to recruit externally in this case. This can be accomplished with success if again; the organization is vested in teaching and grooming those new leaders into the culture of the company before they assume their duties.
Internal develop also gives employees a sense of career progression within the company. Growth, development, responsibility in your future are things every generation consistently says is one of their main desires in choosing organizations to work for.
The Learning Process
During the grooming and training process of any organization, it is important to remember to teach lower level supervisors initial supervisory requirements. Things such as the authorities they must address issues at the first line level as well basic leadership principles. Learning to deal with people, issues, discipline and commendations, work schedules, and basic budget issues are all building blocks for larger, more critical decisions later.
I have been a part of organizations that have both brought up young agency individuals and taught them about leadership in that organization. Organizations that routinely bring in senior leaders from outside, often watch them struggled day after to day to learn and understand years of cultural values; until they fail. Those that have come up through the organization normally always produce better senior level leaders.
The double edge sword here is that internally built leaders often bring only a single viewpoint with them into their new senior leader role. If you are trying to change the culture, change the viewpoints, change the direction of an organization, those internally built leaders may cause some friction unless handled properly.
Organizational leaders that are groomed and trained from within, will work well together; especially during critical times. They know each other, they’ve been through those difficult early supervision days together and have come to trust or at least understand each other’s leadership value.
New Senior Leaders
Develop or hire your leaders? If you are a new senior leader to an organization, brought in to lead in a new direction; to build a new set of values and reimage the leadership team, how will you do that? My suggestion is address and rebuild your Human Resource and Training Program first. Set the stage with those areas of the organization. Mold them into what you want to set for the future and then let them develop leaders from within. You will gain the trust of your organization’s individual workforce and show young supervisors and up and coming next generation of leaders that they have a place and future in your new vision.
Hire young, talented, inspired and educated individuals that will buy into your new vision. Teach them through strong leadership development programs filled with follow-through and mentorship is key. This ensures strong vision is in place early.
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