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How Can I Coach My High-Performers into a More Formal Leadership Role?

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  • Supporting the professional growth of your high-performing individuals is a true win-win situation – especially if it increases the likelihood that they’ll stay with your organization long-term. Engaging these go-getters takes a little time upfront but can reap tremendous rewards for your department, organization and for their personal development. Read for tips on how to best tap into the potential of these individuals.

Let them know

  • Is an employee’s talent assessment something they see? Do you tell high-potential employees that they are indeed high potentials? If not, consider it! Employees have a hard time living up to expectations when they have to guess where they stand. Even the specific designation of knowing they are considered a high-potential employee can inspire these future leaders to engage more deeply in their development. Push them to reflect on the specific skills where they want to grow, the projects they want to be a part of, and the work you can help delegate to them in order to prepare them for the next step.

Think strategically

  • What are the growth opportunities inside your department? Your organization? When organizations think about succession planning they often start from the executive level, but at times it is the changes within the front-line staff or middle management that cause the biggest disruption in daily workflow. If you wait until these openings happen before you train staff, the learning curve will be steeper and disruptions may last longer. And as tempting as it might be to hoard your high performers, encourage them to explore other departments within the organization. Remember, it is better to keep a great employee in the larger team than it is to lose them to a different organization completely.

Engage them in stretch assignments

  • Finally, think about your daily work- what tasks must be done by a leader? Are there portions that can be taught and then delegated to your up-and-coming leaders? Providing an opportunity and structure for stretch assignments can benefit you both. You will help them to develop new skills, showcase their expertise across the organization, and open up your time to focus on further mentorship and development of other rockstars.
  • If you want to learn more about how you can engage your high potential and get them ready for a future leadership role, check out our Accelerate Institute. Accelerate is professional development specially designed for high potentials focused on growth. The content included as part of the Accelerate Institute is designed to equip new and future people leaders with the tactical tools they will use on a daily basis in a leadership role. This includes skill sets like motivating others, setting purposeful expectations, prioritization and time management, delegation, running successful meetings, and leveraging your personal brand.

We believe leadership matters

FOCUS Training is an interactive leadership development company that has been helping people achieve excellence through understanding and action since 1992.

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Milwaukee, WI 53204