How Can Leadership Development Shape Your Organization?

Leadership development is not an overnight phenomenon—it is a strategic investment in the future.

In every team, there are individuals with undiscovered potential waiting to be recognized and nurtured. But how do you identify and cultivate these potential leaders effectively? Well, this is part of leadership development.

The path to empowering today’s leaders for tomorrow’s opportunities begins with identifying and inviting them in. Let’s see how businesses can use this potential to build leaders and leave a lasting legacy that goes beyond their influence.

Key Takeaways

  • Spotting internal talent is pivotal for long-term leadership success.
  • A team-first philosophy can nurture a strong leadership culture.
  • The Leadership Matrix (Effort, Attitude, Ability) is a tool for evaluating potential leaders.
  • Cultivating an apprentice mindset fosters potential leaders through hands-on experiences.
  • The leadership development journey is multi-phased and requires patience and time investment.
  • Investing effort in nurturing talent pays off with leadership and organizational growth.

Spotting Future Leaders Within Your Team

Leadership multiplication requires time. Protecting and strengthening your organization’s DNA is crucial to ensure its success.

In my career, I have found that building a team from within the organization is more effective than hiring from outside. That doesn’t mean that outside hiring doesn’t work. But it does mean that you’re probably going to work a little harder at making sure they understand the cultural DNA. 

Identifying leadership potential within your team is more of an art than an exact science. Luckily, over the years, I’ve done this many times and can share with you what that process looks like. 

To identify potential leaders, look for people who are proactive and take charge. People who are collaborating effectively with others and motivated to improve themselves. Lastly, look for people who genuinely want to help others succeed.

Here are some attributes you can keep an eye out for:

  • Innate problem-solving skills that offer innovative solutions.
  • A magnetic presence that inspires and influences peers.
  • An insatiable appetite for learning, coupled with actionable self-improvement.

We Before Me: The Crucial Team-First Philosophy

Placing the success of the collective over the individual serves as the foundation upon which future leaders can stand. Encouraging a team-first mindset helps team members grow in ways that benefits everyone. This can even help avoid the possible pitfalls of individual achievements. 

This philosophy is a catalyst for potential leaders to step up and shine. It reassures your team about growth opportunities, leading to greater loyalty and lower turnover. A culture where internal growth is visible will naturally foster leadership.

The Leadership Matrix: Effort, Attitude, and Ability

But what happens if building from within isn’t possible right now and you need to hire from the outside? As I’ve said outside hiring works, but it’s tricky. The best thing is to try and minimize the disruption of bringing in someone new.

Keep an eye out for candidates that show initiative and collaboration. The ones that put the team first and want to help and improve others.

But also recognize that personal development is equally as important. Look for persistence, a positive approach, and then the skill set to match. These are all attributes that a leader will exhibit. 

Employing a Leadership Matrix, focusing on effort, attitude, and ability, can help refine raw talent into true leadership potential. And in doing so, you will ensure a balanced approach to recognizing and nurturing potential leaders.

From Learning to Leading: Fostering an Apprentice Mindset

So how do you go from identifying to actually inviting someone into the leadership journey? Well you have to make an actual invitation. 

“I see you as a leader now. I also see that with some support you can have an even bigger leadership role in the future.”

It might seem irrelevant or unnecessary, but recent studies have shown that people need validation. By supporting someone’s growth in the organization, you can have a loyal and capable leader in the future.

An apprentice mindset paves the path to leadership with progressive trust-building and skills enhancement. This approach cultivates a leadership DNA that is sustainable and essential for the long-term health of any organization.

Practical, hands-on experiences are crucial in leadership development. You’re giving them space to make their own mistakes while also helping them grow into leadership responsibilities. And then ultimately, there’s a point where you just straight up hand it off and start the whole process again.

Leadership Development Requires Patience and Strategy

That is the multiplication mindset that starts once you have invited someone into the journey. Think of leadership development as a journey with key stops: observing, participating, leading with support, and finally leading independently.

One of the things I did early in my career and, that I look back at, is I just did it too quickly. And still, I watch people do this too quickly. Promoting people by title into positions they’re not ready for.

Each phase is critical and requires different levels of mentorship and support. Like in the growing phase, where they have an opportunity to grow but with some safety and a little bit of protection.

The organization will support that growth. So I’ll repeat this because this is important: leadership development takes time. What will help you is your mindset.

But patience and the willingness to invest your time are the pillars of developing leaders. It will take time but in return, you’ll get loyal, resilient, and well-prepared leaders that can help grow your organization.

Investing Time: The Most Expensive Resource of Leadership Development

Your time is one of the most expensive resources you can invest to build a leader. Leadership development requires your time, the investment of your own journey, and the investment of dollars. So time, talent, and treasure are necessary for you to invest in building other leaders. You can’t suddenly invite someone in and just hand it off to them and suddenly they do it. 

So when thinking about the actual invitation you’re extending to this future leader, think of the apprentice mindset. Some might develop their leadership skills faster.

They’re ready for more authority, and you’re comfortable taking some risk with that. You must think of risk and tolerance of ability to be able to hand off authority. It’s not an exact science, to develop leaders you have to invest time.

The Multiplier Effect: Appreciating the Long-Term Payoff of Leadership Development

Investing in leadership development is not easy, or cheap. It requires your most expensive resource. From creating a product to building a digital audience. Anything you do for your business takes time.

Invite them into the leadership development journey and invest your time into your team then it will also lead to a long-term payoff. An organization that will thrive under tomorrow’s problems. A legacy of leaders that helps build other leaders. That will just continue to multiply.


How do you spot potential leaders in your team?

Look for team members who are proactive, willing to work together, always improving themselves, and good at inspiring others.

What is the Leadership Matrix, and how is it used in leadership development?

The Leadership Matrix is an evaluation tool based on effort, attitude, and ability that helps identify potential leaders. It can help you find the right people for a specific role while making sure your organization grows on a solid team-first philosophy.

Why is an apprentice mindset important for developing leaders?

Having an apprentice mindset encourages continuous learning and growth. This helps develop strong leadership skills within the organization. It also provides hands-on experience for future leaders.

Can you explain the phases of the leadership development journey?

The journey begins with observing and then participating, while receiving guidance. Eventually, it progresses to taking on leadership roles individually.

How does time investment contribute to leadership development?

Investing time in mentorship and growth is important for developing leaders and building a strong organizational foundation.

Preparing current leaders for future opportunities ensures a company’s success will continue even after they leave. This shows the importance of planning ahead and having a clear vision for growth.

Embrace the principles of leadership development. Pave the way for a future where leaders are not just born but also made, molded, and multiplied.

About Beyond Your Shadow

At Beyond Your Shadow, we recognize that a leader’s shadow casts a profound impact on the organization. We help leaders find their strengths and areas to improve in their leadership style. This creates a positive impact on their teams and company.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *