Creating great leaders isn't easy, but there is a major incentive to do so. By nurturing a group of future managers within a company, a business can start to grow its culture naturally and holistically through hiring and promoting from within. This is especially important for startup companies because everything begins with a handful of people and quickly escalates. If companies don't take a careful look at who they are hiring and how they are treating their employees, they could find that management's grip on the company culture is lost, and the business may begin to lose its structural integrity.
As an example of companies that succeeded in nurturing strong leaders, Aon Hewitt recently made a list of the top corporations for leaders. The company found that there were five major categories that businesses excelled at when they created strong managers. First, the top companies were all excellent at making critical evaluations of people on the team in order to see who would be best for a leadership role. They actively looked for the traits that make someone strong and inspires others to follow that person. Additionally, the companies all fostered similar notions of strength, resilience and engagement within their leadership. They did this by leading by example and by educating workers directly in what it takes for a business to grow and prosper.
The importance of creating leaders early in a business's life cycle
Business Insider recently made a list of mistakes that startups can make when they begin to hire people for managerial positions. Many of the issues at hand come from the fact that a small business often is run very differently from a large business, and so what works at the small scale begins to suffer from inefficiencies as a business grows. For example, when someone starts a company, this person may not ultimately be the best positioned manager to lead the entire group of workers. Managers must not only be good at leading others, but they must learn to delegate and organize effectively. Structural matters become important in ways that many people who haven't had experience leading before aren't aware of.
An additional concern is the ability to plan for company growth. Small businesses need to start considering how they will expand into larger companies relatively quickly, and the hiring process should involve looking at whether someone can help to propel a company forward rather than simply fill a niche role. For example, when hiring someone for an HR position, consider whether that person could in the future begin to structure an entire HR department around an employee management system, even if the current job being hired for is only a small one.