Leadership Pipeline

Welcome to a new day of leadership in America!  President-Elect Obama ushers in a new era and a new focus on leadership. With so much attention these days on leadership, not only in the political sphere but in terms of corporate and social responsibility, I’m often asked how to define leadership.  There’s so many layers and levels to leadership, that it is not just as simple as the Four A’s of Leadership that I wrote about previously. The leadership pipeline takes into account various elements:
1.  Succession Planning.  We all know we need to do it.  Talent management is not just about leveraging the skillsets and strengths of your employees or team, but about bringing them along and helping them to build on their strengths to get to their next level.  It’s about grooming them for future leadership. What skills do they need? With whom do they need visibility? What coalitions do they need to build?
2.  Leadership Development.  Every group has its high-potentials, rising stars, and emerging leaders.  But this is just the beginning of the pipeline.  There are competencies and skills to develop and master at each successive level of leadership.  Distinct from managing one’s career and finding one’s voice, current leaders must be coaches and mentors for those in the pipeline behind them at every stage of leadership.
3.  Levels of Leadership.  Rarely does one jump from being a high-potential or emerging leader into the driver’s seat.  There are levels to move through much like a human life cycle moves from infant to toddler to child to teen to young adult to middle age to seniority to elderhood.  In organizations and leadership the pipeline looks more like this:
Hi-Po/Emerging Leader →Developing Leader→Competent Leader→Master Leader→Sage Leader
Then what?  After that there are many relevant places to contribute to organizations, teams and society in various roles: Strategic advisor, Visionary, Leadership Mentor, Retirement!
4. Being a Leader.  As an ontological coach I  help leaders to understand the impact of who they are being as a leader and as a person.  The “beingness” of a leader requires mastery in awareness, authenticity, acceptance, alignment and action.  An outward focus that engages others in a grand vision in which they see their highest potential and best self possible, a shared purpose and commitment towards results, and the ability to be an observer, a listener, and a servant for the greater good all contribute to a leader’s being. Passion, purpose, possibility, and owning your personal power are the hallmark mindsets that replace ego.
Want to know more about leadership?  This summer HR World posted their list of the The Top 100 Management and Leadership Blogs That All Managers Should Bookmark…check it out here!
©11/4/08 Suzi Pomerantz. All rights reserved.

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