There is nothing more important for the long-term success of your team, department and company than identifying your pipeline and managing your high potentials. Whether you are thinking about who to promote, how to identify your successor or how to be a better manager, this list of things to consider along with some key questions to ponder is a good place to start. In this blog series, we are exploring 25 ways to keep your great employees engaged and help them continue to out-perform everyone else.
This week we examine leadership: Do they want it and are they ready?
Case 5: To be truly capable, engaged and successful as a leader, the individual must be talented, they must want to lead and be ready to lead. To be incapable of leading will obviously disqualify a person, but it is amazing how many people are promoted into a leadership role who have no business being there. Gallup estimates that only about 10% of current leaders are actually highly effective in their roles. That means that 90% of leaders are lacking in at least one critical leadership talent, but more likely they are lacking in many. Who wants to lead is a bit less critical. This one is often overlooked as most people assume that every Subject-Matter Expert (SME) wants to eventually be a leader. But this is patently false! Finally, thought must be applied to the question of who is ready to lead now. Many talented and motivated leaders will fail simply because they are not quite ready for the level of responsibility and pressure that comes with a big leadership role. Make sure you give any leadership candidate a thorough realistic job preview and ask them probing questions about their desire and readiness.
You will have a great, ready leader only when you can find the person that fits the bill on these 3 questions. Can you confidently write 1-2 names behind each of these questions?
13. Who can lead (who has the talent, skill and potential)?
14. Who wants to lead (who has the motivation and desire)?
15. Who is ready to lead now (who has the expertise)?
To read other blog posts including more of the “25 Questions to Ponder to Improve Your Talent Pipeline and Manage Your High,” visit
- Part 1 – Where You’re Spending Your Time
- Part 2 – Developing Your Subject-Matter Experts (SMEs)
- Part 3 – Politicians vs. Performers
- Part 4 – Leadership Attention to Talent
- Part 5 – Leadership: Do They Want It and Are They Ready?
- Part 6 – Openness to Innovation
- Part 7 – The Purpose Behind Leadership
Brent Proulx, M.S., SPHR is a Management and Leadership Consultant for Talent Plus. He is passionate about helping people and organizations become more successful at what they do through the creation, implementation and perfection of strength-based measures for selection, development and coaching.
Management and Leadership Consultant