Reviewed by Jean Fagan
A CEOs greatest responsibility is arguably their responsibility to create a legacy of talented individuals behind them, with the capabilities to assume leadership. Kevin Hardy, John Mollett and Michael Guerriero from HardyGroup International

There are several shifts that need to be made in order for managers to transition from their specialist function or division head role to take on broader leadership roles in organisations. Individuals need to make a conscious and deliberate decision to transition and to develop their careers in order to become capable leaders contributing system or enterprise-wide.Equally so, CEO’s need to understand that they have a responsibility to ensure that they identify and develop their talented people so that they have a cadre of leaders ready to step up and take over roles when others leave. It’s a major problem for organisations not having a nursery of people coming through into top management.

Kevin Hardy, Founder and Principal and John Mollett, Principal Consultant with HardyGroup International both coach executives and lead senior management and executive learning Sets. They hear from executives all the time about not having the leadership required to step into system roles. They know also from Executive Search assignments how small, even the global pool has become with those capable of managing the level of complexity, financial management skills and diverse stakeholder relationships required by leaders now.

How we accelerate learning for high potentials or those that are going to be fast tracked is also important in developing talent to have a greater understanding of the context and politics of the organisation, as well as knowing what core skills are needed and the readiness to learn those skills. We do that by exposure of people to real work issues which they have to manage and prove their capability by successfully managing. They must also learn to deal with ambiguity, adjust and influence people because if you can’t influence you won’t progress to the top levels in your organisation. You will probably make third or fourth tier. That’s also all right, however, because systems need good leaders and managers at every level.

What’s needed too, is people locked into what the organisation has to do now but also what it plans to do for it to be successful in the future. Although the idea is to test people in the heat of battle through managing real issues, you need to also build in support which may be with a mentor, coach, strategic financial management or assessing people’s emotional intelligence. Challenge at all times with appropriate stretch. They must deliver success but you must also support them.

Whatever approach is used it must be structured. Building high performing teams with the right mix that includes clinical and management if you are in the health sector. Good managers and leaders won’t grow out of the woodwork. And leaders in public health for example must understand that communities expect the business of health to be well managed to deliver best level service. That requires good management and good leadership.

For information about HGI’s Emerging Leaders Learning Sets and Leadership Development Programs, contact Kevin Hardy on +61 (0)412 131 334 or khardy@hardygroupintl.com

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