Leadership Development: Evaluation, Coaching and Promotion

Having the right leaders at your organization can make all the difference. Not only can it help in day-to-day functioning and making sure that things proceed smoothly, but it can also help your organization to proceed in the right direction long-term.

But where exactly do you get great leaders? One option is to hire a new person in a leadership role when the person currently holding that position resigns or retires. Another option is to promote from within.

In order to promote from within, you’ll have to make sure that the person you plan to promote is prepared for the challenges of their new position. You’ll need to start working with them to prepare them for a leadership role long before they actually take over their new position. This is referred to as leadership development, and it consists of several steps.

Evaluate Your Staff

It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for people whom you think would be good in a leadership role. This process can start as early as the interview. When you hire new people, even if it’s only in entry-level positions, you can ask yourself whether they have what it takes to be in a managerial/leadership position.

  • Do they seem professional and detail-oriented?
  • Are they problem-solvers?
  • Do they understand long-term strategy?
  • Are they good communicators?

Being in a leadership position means having a good grip on the day-to-day running of a company while still having a vision for the future. Do any of the employees in your organization fit this bill? If you think so, then it’s a good idea to talk to that employee about whether they might be interested in growing within the organization as time goes on.

Leadership Coaching

Once you’ve identified which of your staff has (or could possibly have) leadership qualities, the next step is to develop those qualities. This can be done in a few different ways.

Leadership Workshops

There are many leadership workshops that you could send staff members to; these will prepare them for the challenges of a leadership position. Workshops are not that long, but they do give individuals strategies that they can use if they are thrown into a leadership position. They will teach them the best way to problem-solve and deal with people. Since dealing with people is 90% of leadership, it’s important for someone stepping into a leadership role to know the basics of communication.

Business Courses

You can also encourage staff members with leadership qualities to take courses in the organization’s field or in management. If you’re thinking really long-term, you may even encourage that person to do an MBA and subsidize it so that they don’t have to bear the entire cost. Of course, this involves putting a lot of time and money into preparing an employee for a leadership role. So it’s good to be sure that they are as invested in it as you are.


It makes sense to give the person you are grooming for a leadership position a mentor or coach within your organization. If a person in a leadership role is going to retire and you’ve found someone else to take their place, then it makes sense to ask the former to mentor the latter and show them the ropes. As a business owner, you can also choose to do the mentoring yourself by involving your leadership trainee in as many business-related decisions as possible.

Seamless Transfer

As your leadership trainee becomes more apt at dealing with the role you are training them for, you can start giving them more responsibility by asking them to take meetings, do presentations, give instructions to other employees etc. This is a seamless method of leadership development because you’re transferring responsibility little by little, thus giving the individual more time to adjust to their new duties.

Promoting From Within

The final step in leadership development is to promote the individual you have been training. Keep in mind that it takes some time to adjust to a new position and its responsibilities. Your new leader will have to get used to new ways of dealing with clients, employees, investors etc. Make sure that they know that they can still come to you (or other leaders within the organization) if they have questions or problems.

Overall, leadership development can be a long process, but it’s generally worth it. Employees will be more likely to stay on in your organization and put in 100% if they know that you promote from within. Plus, the challenges involved in leadership development can themselves help in engaging intelligent employees who are problem-solvers and strategic thinkers.