In today’s competitive world, it has become really difficult to find the right candidate with the potential to be a leader. But are emerging leaders focussed on their own progress, sought after by organisations? Yes. Looks like they are.
Earlier, there used to be a common misconception that emerging leaders are not good for the company’s growth. After all, they would be focussed solely on self-growth or their individual progress, instead of helping the company grow.
Now, however, with the learning and unlearning environment becoming more open and with training-on-the job becoming more vigorous, things have changed, and so have perceptions.
“A person focussed on personal growth will actually be leading by example. It is essential for organisations to support the efforts of such leaders. People observe these leaders focussing on their personal development, and try to emulate them”
SV Nathan, partner and chief talent officer, Deloitte
Why are emerging leaders a boon?
Industry experts believe emerging leaders are more of a boon than bane for their organisations. What makes them so?
They are result-oriented: They are highly-focussed, agile, go-getters and subject-matter experts. Moreover, they know how to achieve results. Their role is very important, as they not only believe in result-oriented performance, but are open to learning and possess strong interpersonal skills.
They lead by example: According to SV Nathan, partner and chief talent officer, Deloitte, “A person focussed on personal growth will actually be leading by example”. It is essential for organisations to support the efforts of such leaders. People observe these leaders focussing on their personal development, and try to emulate them. The whole organisation stands to benefit from their go-getting attitude”.
Nathan adds that it’s a cycle and offers a plethora of opportunities for growth and learning.
They love challenges: Seconding Nathan’s thoughts on emerging leaders, Emmanuel David, HR leader, tells HRKatha, “Focussing upon personal growth is very important for any organisation, because if the person grows the company grows too”.
David goes on to add, that such leaders know what they bring to the table, and “most of these emerging leaders want to work more — they love challenges, complexities and diverse thinking.
How are emerging leaders identified / mentored?
Chandrashekhar Mukherjee, CHRO, Bhilosa Industries, believes, “Emerging leaders play a very crucial role in taking the company to higher levels”.
The industry leader and mentor says, “Since organisations select them from their own talent pool and are aware of their needs and requirements, it becomes easier for them to pick the right candidates with the right skill sets at the right time”.
“Focussing upon personal growth is very important for any organisation, because if the person grows the company grows too”
Emmanuel David, HR leader
Achievements/ contribution: According to Mukherjee, “An emerging leader is selected on the basis of how and what they have achieved during their tenure in the company”.
David says that most companies have very effective ‘fast track’ programmes, wherein these selected candidates are trained and mentored under skilful leaders.
However, their contribution to the organisation is one of the major and critical parameters for selection.
Team players: Emerging leaders focus on ‘We’ rather than ‘Me’. “They are great team players”, points out Mukherjee, who believes that emerging leaders are usually jacks of all trades and masters of few. Mukherjee believes that specialists are more of subject matter experts and intend to focus too much on the areas they have expertise in. But people who are more of generalists think about holistic development and are better team players.
Why is coaching required?
What if the emerging leaders lack the required qualities? In that case, David says that it is up to the organisation to help the emerging leaders overcome their shortcomings or address the issues that may hold them back in their leadership journey.
Citing an example, David says that most of the issues arise due to lack of knowledge regarding the role, poor inter-personal relationships with the peer group and sometimes issues created by or involving stakeholders. However, all these can be resolved through training programmes and coaching.
“Leaders always focus on ‘We’ rather than ‘Me’. They are great team players”
Chandrashekhar Mukherjee, CHRO, Bhilosa Industries
Sometimes, however, the organisations also make the mistake of just promoting people merely on the basis of their performance. They tend to ignore the critical part, that is, whether the person being promoted has leadership potential or not.
For instance, a company may promote a salesperson simply because he/she brought them business, overlooking the fact that he/she may not have the potential to lead from the front. This may create issues and adversely affect the work in the long term.
Clearly, emerging leaders are the backbone of any company as they not only create a competitive environment, but also possess an innovative spirit that can be infectious. They bring new energy and ideas to the table, even while sticking to the core practices of the organisation.