Discovering the Leaders on Your Staff - Page 2

Jul 27, 2007

Katherine Spencer Lee

Also make sure you’re giving management candidates plenty of opportunities to acquire strategic abilities and a better understanding of the company’s goals. If that promising senior programmer is allowed to tackle only everyday responsibilities such as writing code and documenting software specifications, you’re not likely to see leadership talents emerge and grow.

Make an active effort to provide new management-related challenges, such as leading teams, resolving conflicts, or assisting you with reports or budgeting. Testing abilities in small ways will help the person gain confidence and build expertise necessary to advance.

In addition, you may want to supplement your internal training efforts with courses or seminars. Attending classes often gives participants the chance to practice their skills and receive feedback from others, so they can apply their knowledge to real-world situations. For instance, professionals might receive training on public speaking techniques, followed up by role-plays and group input on techniques learned.

Grooming internal talent for management positions can offer many benefits in the long run. You’ll ensure you have well-trained individuals in place to fill key openings. At the same time, you’re sending a positive message that your firm cares about its employees and nurturing their potential, which can boost retention rates.

Just be sure you’re assessing everyone in your group not just your most senior staff and you may uncover some diamonds in the rough.

Katherine Spencer Lee is executive director of Robert Half Technology, a provider of IT professionals for initiatives ranging from e-business development and multi-platform systems integration to network engineering and technical support. Robert Half Technology has more than 100 locations in the North America and Europe, and offers online job search services at

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