Frontline leaders are vitally important to the success of any organisation, given that they supervise up to 80% of employees. Choosing the right ones needs to be based on science, not just gut instinct.
In my previous post I discussed the 6 wrong ways to choose frontline leaders and whilst it may seem obvious to simply do the opposite of that list, there are a few other factors to take into account.
So what are the right ways to choose your future leaders to ensure you end up with people who are not only right for the role but also make it easier for you to develop?
Here are six factors to consider:
- Amiable It might seem obvious but start by asking “do they want to?” A person who wants to lead will start with a natural advantage: the right attitude
- Compatible Not all leaders suit all environments and what works for you today may not work in the future. You need to check their personal style fits with the type of team and the evolving culture of the organisation.
- Capable Look for people who are already demonstrating the skills of a leader by asking questions like: are they able to take constructive feedback and do they lead when given an opportunity?
- Stable Don’t assume that your offer to cultivate them as a future leader will fit in with their plans. Find out if they intend to stay around. The person with a history of changing jobs every two years may not alter their pattern simply because you make them a leader.
- Adaptable Consider whether they can adapt to the changing environment around them, an essential quality of great leaders. The best leaders are good at dealing with low order and high chaos. Someone who is stuck in their ways or likes routine may struggle as a leader.
- Personable Without the right people skills a leader will never succeed in their role. A leader must be able to bring people along on the journey with them. Without followers you aren’t a leader. They must be to communicate to a variety of people in a range of situations.
So how does this compare with the way you select frontline leaders? Can you honestly say that you are basing your decisions on tried and tested criteria rather than guesswork?
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