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Skills which future leaders require
Future leaders of the organization will need to possess strategic management skills as this will be critical in top leadership situations. Instances of expansions through mergers or acquisition are becoming quite rampant. Alternatively, new opportunities to either change product design or introduce new ones are always lurking (Biggs 106). Therefore, one must know how to handle such scenarios through sound strategic decisions.
A leader should also be familiar with financial skills as management of stock prices is critical in maintaining peak performance. Large organizations like Mattel reported dismal performance under a new leader because it lacked skills on how to handle Wall Street (Conger & Fulmer 81). To attain the mission and vision of the company, future leaders will require knowledge in marketing and public relations.
The firm’s survival is dependent on how much revenue it can generate, and management of the company image is imperative in this arena. For instance, a product scare may arise in a different part of the world (Charan 77). The leader needs to coordinate public relations efforts that would restore the company’s reputation. Failure to do so could lead to the loss of loyal consumers.
One must have operational skills that allow the person to manage product –related issues. Leaders who only have strategic and theoretical knowledge may make unwise decisions, which are unrelated to the goings-on on the ground. Having people skills is also critical for the future survival of the organization. Leaders need to know how to build consensus so as to cause the organization to move forward.
People skills also entail knowing how to resolve conflicts, delegate duties as well as communicate effectively with individuals. Some of these skills can be taught formally through training classes. However, most of them require exposure to situations that involve them (Rothwell 32).
This is the point where leadership development becomes relevant. For leaders to achieve the vision and mission of the company, they need to undergo job rotations at junior level and then continue to do so at mid and higher levels so as to become competent.
How high potential leaders ought to be identified
High potential leaders should be analyzed through a talent assessment system. This approach ought to involve the employee, his or her former and current supervisors, human resource management, as well as other senior level organizational leaders (Holincheck 18). All employees need to know that they are under continuous assessment.
The company needs to meet with these employees at least once a month to know the extent of their progress (Karaevli and Hall 77). Senior managers and the human resource team should meet with current and former supervisors of the employee so as to discuss their opportunities for growth.
For instance, they may decide that the assistant store manager for a certain branch lacks experience in store layouts. The person may be given a transfer to a branch that has perfected this practice so as to learn from it. Therefore having regular assessments of team members is a significant way of identifying potential leaders.
The company should identify its leaders starting with lynchpin positions. This will allow them to safeguard positions that are critical to the success of the organization.
They need to give potential candidates for this positions access to organizational information on their skills, competencies and potential for leadership. They can offer access through a secure database. The company needs to track ready candidates and focus on expanding the pool (Kur and Bunning 762).
Currently, the organization under consideration normally focuses on hierarchal positions within the company. For instance, if the supplies-and-logistics manager leaves the company or retires, senior management will consider his assistant to take up the task. If the assistant appears uninterested or lacks the right qualities, then the company will hire from outside. This approach is reactive and shortsighted.
The company only identifies leaders when there is a gap and someone needs to fill it. The company has missed out on promising candidates merely because it is so rigid in its approach.
Furthermore, the lack of a long term focus on the matter implies that the company will not develop people sufficiently to handle the new responsibilities (Berke 55). Some of them may not be mentally prepared for such opportunities owing to the lack of strategic methods of leadership identification.
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Essential developmental experiences
Development needs to occur through classroom training in some instances. However, this should not be the sole focus of the experience; it will only work if the company combines it with a range of practical approaches. Leaders need certain technical skills that may assist them in performing their jobs, and this can only be learnt in formal classrooms (Caruso et. al. 44).
A case in point is management of the supplies-and-logistics department. A leader will perform his job effectively if the person has some technical knowledge on logistics management. Some training experience in development is necessary.
Perhaps one of the most significant developmental experiences is job rotations. Leaders have an opportunity to get past their comfort zones whenever they move from one position to the next.
It gives them a holistic view of the organization and causes them to understand how the different aspects of the company depend on each other (Charan et. al. 55). This approach also builds the skills base of employees as it augments their academic credentials with practical experience.
Special assignments are also a critical method of carrying out leadership development. This method provides individuals with an opportunity to acquire managerial skills. It causes them to expand their strategic capabilities without hurting the company’s bottom line (Allio 22). Whenever by people who do not have much experience make strategic decisions, there is the risk that they might make the wrong ones.
However, if senior leaders delegate a special assignment concerning a small joint venture is to an upcoming leader, then the company will not suffer tremendously if the venture underperforms. The risk is worth taking because it is small and provides so much experience on the part of the employee.
Furthermore, special assignments reduce the need to wait for job vacancies before real leadership responsibility can be practiced (Britt 12). Even when opportunities for senior management are few, employees can still practice leadership skills through this approach
Linchpin jobs in the clothing retail organization under consideration involve the operation of stores. The supplies-and-procurement position is a critical job; it determines the rate at which clothes enter the company and how effectively the firm meets customers’ needs. The store manager is also pivotal to the success of the company because he is in touch with clients on a regular basis.
The individual assesses their reactions to prices, sizes and designs. He is the bridge between senior management and consumers so he can give feedback to them whenever something critical arises. Another linchpin job is the sales and marketing position.
This person informs consumers about new designs, promotions and bonuses. Since the fashion industry is quite dynamic and competitive, one needs to be in constant communication with one’s consumers.
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