The en masse exodus of Baby Boomers alarms some in the business community as retirement encroaches. Varying reasons exist for the multiple reactions to retirement. The energized and ready can’t wait to quit the daily pace of dutiful work obligations in exchange for a more relaxed pace. Others are uncertain, wary and intimidated about this forthcoming season in their lives.
The question arises, how do you stay a rock solid leader after retirement?
Leadership Validation Is a Core Process
Before a leader can navigate his retirement, an important and often overlooked step is the leadership validation process. This is the process of confirming that a job was well done. Meaningfulness becomes increasingly important as one becomes more experienced.
A rock solid leader who validates the claims of leadership manifested in the working years gains more assurance and is emotionally ready for the exit.
For many, this validation is unnerving:
- How do they know if they were meaningful?
- How do they know the caliber of their followers?
- Or, what is the caliber of their potential successor?
The validation for leaders of core competencies is critical in all phases of the business and personal life cycle and increasingly important near retirement. This translates into core validation being essential from the first interview to the exit interview.
At my firm, we have found that we can confirm core competencies better with 3-D assessments and our clients gain a competitive advantage. This approach provides a much more realistic understanding of the leaders and how best to go ahead.
Essential for Rock Solid Leadership
Executive coaching, leadership assessments and evaluations and performance reviews are often the tools used by consultants to help investigate and test the leader’s hard and soft skills. The typical pen and paper approach has brought in results; but limited insights.
A better approach is the 3-D assessment that utilizes video as the main medium.
How to Be a Rock Solid Leader
Under pen and paper, the list of questions is often answered individually. Each response comes from how the leader sees themself. This self-evaluation is a good tool but limited. The way others view a person is critical. First impressions are important. Therefore, undergoing a comprehensive assessment is a better approach.
What variables validate core leadership competencies?
Peer evaluations have often been used to check the team or the leader. The problem is that they are often subjective and not good evaluations. So, the first key in gaining a tier-one evaluation is to make sure that the person diagnosing the skills is not a part of the team or related to the company. An outsider’s objectivity provides a level of analysis that cannot be attained by co-workers.
So this begs the question:
What leadership skills should you get assessed?
New and Underdeveloped
The skills gaps in the rise of new leadership is an increasingly challenge for many companies. The new enthusiast wants to lead well, but often lacks the knowledge that comes with hands-on experience. Thus, two categories of skills exist and assessed in a comprehensive leadership skills assessment to confirm core competencies.
- Computer Programming
Certain aspects of leadership depend on qualities – often subtly displayed – that others perceive someone to have. Leadership awareness of soft skills can be difficult to assess, so an effective way requires an in-depth probing and understanding to check core competencies.
This type of “deep-dive” assessment observations and resultant data explain feedback with a higher level of accuracy.
- Critical Thinking
- Complex Problem Solving
- Judgment and Decision Making
- Active Listening
- Sales Techniques
In fact, many qualities are visible with 3-D analytics; thus increasing the effectiveness of each assessment. Now, you can know if you are a rock solid leader.
A Twist in the Leadership Validation Process
Many companies have focused on leadership development and training for the newbie. However, this is only a partial solution. 3-D analytics work for senior management too.
Good companies know the value of their human capital; the experiences of a mature leader adds wisdom to the organization.
Increasingly, the en masse exodus of senior management has upper management more aware of the knowledge loss with retiring senior management. The challenge is to capture and assimilate the knowledge of these retiring seniors. Their successes are what make a leader rock solid.
Rock Solid Leader Plans
The cycle of a leader begins with initiation into authority and continues until retirement. Throughout the business cycle a good leader should confirm his or her core competencies to strengthen weaknesses and strengths. A
potential leader is usually provided training and guidance to increase his skills. An experienced leader, yes, a rock solid leader guides others to maturity. Thus, the question becomes for a company how to keep the knowledge of a rock solid leader?
Continuity of leadership is a challenge. This is one reason succession planning is fruitful. Succession planning helps find new leaders and explores ways to capture the knowledge of the predecessors.
- How well is your company positioned to transition its rock solid leaders?
- Has your company started its 5-year succession plan, yet?
- What steps are missing to getting your plan on paper and into action?
I share effective succession planning to help prepare executives, leaders and management with programs for custom exit strategies that validate core competencies.
Q: So then, what is the best way to find a rock solid leader?
A: Please post your comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders™
Loreen Sherman is CEO of Star-Ting Inc | Executive Coach | Sr. Mgmt. Consultant
She serves clients with a 3-D Analytic Assessments and Succession Planning
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web | Corporate | Booking | ☎ 403.289.2292
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