Eric Handler headshot Written by: Eric Handler

Developing Your Leadership Pipeline

Part of your success is about reacting quickly to change when leadership changes.  Access to the right talent at the right time to activate strategies is critical.  Leadership guru John Maxwell’s “Law of the Lid” probably said it best – “a company will only rise to the level that its leadership allows”.  So it is critically important that organizations develop and cultivate a pool of leadership aligned with market opportunities and the company’s growth strategy.  We call this pool of talent the “Leadership Pipeline.”

The “old school” term is succession planning.  How excited is your next generation leader about being placed in your succession plan?  My guess…not very.  There are a number of steps you can take to help build up your company’s internal leadership pipeline.

Internal Leadership Pipeline

Perhaps most importantly, your organization should be set up to allow for smooth succession in leadership if certain members of your team move on to other opportunities.  The best place to start is to look at your current talent and determine if your people have the capabilities or potential to align with top management roles. 

In an environment in which the current generation of employees can expect to change jobs a dozen times in their careers, there’s no guarantee of workforce stability for your organization.  With this mind, be honest and transparent about potential paths to leadership and how high achievers can get there.  Today, most talented professionals don’t need to wait around for acknowledgement and the opportunity to advance.  If they know that leadership roles will be available to them in the months or years to come, they will be more likely to stick around and contribute positively to the future of your business. 

Additional Resource: A 5 minute video on why succession planning is essential – “The Case of the Runaway Talent” –

“For nearly four decades, Handler & Associates has partnered with clients to deliver high-quality, challenge-ready executive leaders.”