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How Best to Groom Future Leaders in Your Organization

Production Solutions

Professionally Speaking, ”Feed Your Head!”

As the CEO of Production Solutions/PSDigital, I continue to work at identifying and cultivating new leadership from within.

Books Feed Your Head

READ, READ, READ: Gladwell, Collins…and Lizama (this blog)!

Of course it’s the best thing for an organization to take those who show that they can “lead up,” understand the difference between tactical and strategic decisions and have cross functional experience within the company, and groom them to take over different aspects of the company.

Mining for those “jewels” from within is not easy and is not always possible, so we have to also look outwardly and recruit from outside the company.

However, when you find leaders from within, commit to providing them with the tools to succeed by investing time and money on their executive management development.

I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to provide formal training, in addition to on-the-job training these future leaders have received from you.  In fact, they cannot and probably will not succeed if they don’t receive SOME kind of formal training.

Without some higher and outside source of executive development, you will not foster free thinking, good communication and the ability to positively “manipulate” others. (Manipulation is not a bad word…as long as it’s positive!)

More importantly, outsourced executive development will provide that special “diamond in the rough” with the improved ability to amplify the positive aspects of your corporate culture and help them grow not only as leaders, but as thought leaders in your industry.  What you should NOT want is one to simply mimic what you have established already.  That leads to stagnation.

Along with that formal training, I believe in the need to READ for any of us aspiring to lead.

“I believe in the need to READ for any of us aspiring to lead.”

– George Lizama

READ, READ, READ…and enter the minds of great leaders with great challenges arriving at great solutions.

Good, steadfast leadership benefits greatly from experience and formal professional development, but must also have the self-awareness, the need and the self-initiative to improve upon their own abilities.

I am an advocate of reading self-help, business management and communication books with the goal of making learning a continual, lifelong process, not to mention self-education and enhancing our capacity to understand/implement new leadership perspectives and views.

Personally, I read an average of one book every ninety days.  I just finished one that I thought was a complete waste of time.  However, I arrived at that opinion AFTER reading the book.

The point is not that everything you read is going to be worthwhile…but that you are continually reading to learn what to do and, sometimes what not to do.

The point is to READ!

To me, the need to read is more important than anything other than experience when it comes to professional development.

In my opinion, you can’t get ahead if you don’t read and continually learn.  You are robbing yourself as a business person if you’re not, at least, periodically reading business advice books.

Nothing is more rewarding to me than to see staff reading first, anything, and second, if they’re reading Malcolm Gladwell or Jim Collins.

Reading on your own shows me that you have initiative, that you have a hunger to learn and that you have the confidence to learn about your strengths and weaknesses and how you might improve upon them.

So, to all my friends who are C-Level executives and middle managers out there…continue to read, continue to learn from executive coaches, encourage your staffs to professionally “feed their heads” by reading…or do what a group of PS employees recently did: form a book club around a couple of those educational books and talk them through…you’d be surprised at what you may learn from your own colleagues.

So, when is the last time you “fed your head” by reading a great management or self-help book?  What did you read?  Let me know…I’ll order it on Amazon today!