How and Why To Identify Rising Talent
Many owners remain as the only key manager in the business and fail to develop people under them who have actual leadership capabilities. This sort of hub in spoke structure, inhibits growth and organizational longevity because eventually the business grows beyond the capacity of the owner, and there is no bench for when the time comes to transfer leadership. This does not mean that you are giving up control of your franchise operations before you are ready. Instead, it could mean freeing yourself up to do more to grow the brand and your portfolio.
If as an owner you hold the reigns too tight and have not worked to identify and develop your successor or leadership bench strength, it's time to call a spade a spade and get to work. Depending upon the maturity of your business, you may be required to conduct a talent search; otherwise, if you have the time, look inside your business for leadership potential. In either circumstance, here are six key indicators (the 6 C's) to evaluate when identifying next generation of leaders:
The growth potential and versatility in an environment of continuous learning and adaptation is one of the core components of identifying rising stars. There are seven specific characteristics to evaluate potential leadership candidates - they must either already possess, or have the capacity to learn:
- Intellectual capacity - to effectively understand, manage, oversee, and make decisions pertaining to the unique body of knowledge important to the business.
- Big picture understanding - the ability to see the organizational "big picture" which enables the successor to multi-task and effectively work with a diversity of managers, employees. and vendors, all of whom bring different talent and perspectives to the organizational processes.
- Social versatility - the capacity to develop and maintain interpersonal relationships with individuals critical to the success of the business.
- Patience - the ability to patiently take the steps necessary for leadership growth, knowing that over time they will receive increased responsibility.
- Collaborative mindset- the ability to work as a member and a leader of a team.
- Influencing others - to gain respect and leadership skills to favorably influence those who are critical to the continued success of the business.
- Coachability - the willingness and ability to be coached from the experience of others.
Next generation leaders, and specifically someone who would take on the owner's role, should have enough passion for the business that they are willing to be a role model and think like an owner. This means throwing their unreserved commitment at the business.
One of the fundamental roles of a future leader is the ability to lead and motivate. Core beliefs and practices influence the organization and they convey trust and respect (or lack thereof). Positive character of your future leader is critical to ensure that your team is led along a consistent and compatible path of ongoing success.
A person you are evaluating for a key leadership role, and specifically your successor, must have the intellectual ability to know what is critical to the business as well as being self-aware. This positions them to not only assemble the right team, but also address all essential and complex components for achieving long-term business goals.
It is important for both you as the franchise owner and developing leaders to recognize that you will become partners during the development process. Solid relationships built on trust and confidence will ensure a smooth and successful transition of leadership.
In addition to developing leaders who are owner minded, they too must be community minded. They must be team players who have at heart the best interest of all parties dependent on the ongoing continuity of the business.
No matter where you are in your career as an owner, it is important to identify your rising leaders to ensure the sustainability and growth of your franchise operations, including your successor. If you are developing people to take over your role in whole or in part, you then have the opportunity to continue to grow as an entrepreneur. While the 6's C's are attributes every rising leader and, specifically your successor should be evaluated against, it is not critical that they are "perfect" in each area. What should be expected is that your rising stars or next generation leaders are not totally blind, ignorant, unconcerned, or apathetic about their weaknesses.
Analyzing the 6 C's is the first step in identifying your next generation of leadership. The next step is to understand and identify the management style that will work with you and your organization. In our next installment, we will dig into how to be an effective manager and tackle what works and what doesn't for you as the owner and the overall culture of your multi-unit franchise organization.
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