Strategic Investment: Picking the Right Female Leader to Develop

When evaluating your workforce for the ideal women leaders to develop, two things should come to mind: Performance and potential. “Consider who of your high performers has the potential and desire to grow a long-term career within your organization,” says Marcia Mueller, VP of Leadership Development at IMPACT Group. “Some are happy where they are. Some are eager for more.”

Recognizing and acting on that eagerness is key. If you’re not tapping into it, your competitor may beat you to the punch.

“The real question is, ‘Who do you want to retain?’” With rises in turnover and a strong talent market, it’s easier than ever for high potentials to move onto better opportunities. Commit to developing their strengths and you’ll increase both loyalty and engagement.

You’ve determined performance and potential. Who could use the stretch opportunity?

Tailored leadership development programs for women leaders have the power to enhance confidence, leadership presence, and business acumen. “All of these things do wonders for women’s overall leadership presence,” Marcia shares.

Through professional cohort coaching and a blend of learning methods, participants strengthen their resilience, ability to make decisions, and capacity to take reasonable risk. “Perhaps some of your rising female talent could use a boost in confidence. Ask yourself who needs to better advocate for her ideas, demonstrate resilience in the face of criticism, and become resolute in her decisions.” Presenting her with a development opportunity is a strategic way to enhance these key leadership abilities.

Right potential – but is she the right fit?

“She’ll get the most from the development opportunity if she commits to the full experience,” comments Marcia. Will she partner well with her professional coach? Is she eager to learn from a cohort of other female leaders? How open is she to change?

“Coaching from an outside professional encourages objective and candid discussions. Access to a sponsor at your company makes certain visibility and recognition occur,” Marcia points out. “When they’re all in, the transformation of your women leaders will deliver the long-term benefits you desire.”

Now it’s time to have the conversation.

“Begin with recognition,” advises Marcia. “Explain the potential you see in this person and share that you appreciate all the contributions she has made so far.” When the program is positioned as a growth opportunity instead of a remedial action, she will understand she has your full support and investment.

This is also a great time to discuss her career goals, if that isn’t a discussion you have regularly. “Brainstorm ways the program can be tied to long-term development goals. Discuss how she sees leveraging the development program to achieve her career aspirations.”

Attracting, retaining, and developing your talent gives your company a competitive edge. Along with this, growing your own talent delivers a huge benefit to your company. “You know they are aligned to your culture and values. This ensures you have a have a long line of rising leaders to fill your succession pipeline who are already committed to your goals.”

This is especially true when seeking to balance gender gaps and increase diversity in leadership roles. Who deserves your investment? Learn more about our Women in Leadership program today.