What Is The ROI Of Your Best Leaders?

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superhero leader

It’s not enough for your best leaders to hit their budgeted goals, support your culture and grow their divisions…there is one more critical thing they need to do.

Let me explain with this anecdote:

A few weeks ago, a very successful landscape entrepreneur and long time client (of a 20% Net Profit business) shared a quagmire with me and the rest of his (my) peer group that I mentor. He has a division leader who is very well paid…and she came to him to ask for a raise.

(So far the story seems typical, right?)

But there’s the catch; he had just given her a healthy raise the year before, and he had also just paid her a healthy profit sharing bonus.

She must be happy, right?

So he was miffed that she suddenly wanted another very large raise.

My client and friend did the smart thing…he sat on her request, he didn’t make a bad face at her, or become snarky, he said he would think on it and get back to her.

She wanted in essence a forty percent raise (taking into account the raise from last year and the raise she wanted this year).

After he thought about it, he realized she was worth it.

She was a big part of the 20% NP achievement, and a big part of the growth of the business and frankly she is a big contributor to advancement of the company culture.

“… but that’s not enough” I responded.

When someone gets paid near six figures they are taking on a responsibility for more than just today’s heroic success.

They must be planting and growing seeds for tomorrow’s success.

For this leader to be worth the big bucks: she must not only show that can she create success today; she must also show she is growing up leaders in her division that will be part of tomorrow’s success.

I call these leaders Super Leaders.

(Btw, Tony Dungy has written a book with similar ideas, The Mentor Leader. The book outlines Tony’s spin on how mentors create the next generation of leaders.)

A Super Leader wins games today while nurturing a circle of aspiring leaders that will become an integral part of the growth of the division and industry tomorrow.

These aspiring leaders can be anywhere in your organization: front line labor, foremen, supervisor, new office person, salesperson, small division leader, etc. The key is to spot the talent, test and nurture the talent, and mentor that talent.

Your Challenge:

Measure the fruit of your team leaders by the development of the people underneath them. That’s the true ROI of a leader.

You can do this in a measurable way.

At least once a year, with each division leader, map out the growth plans of the division and also of the aspiring leaders in that division. Each future leader should have a growth goals and a development path, that they them self are driving.

A career ladder can help in this endeavor. So can spending time to unlock each employee’s dreams and goals. Find out what’s really driving them personally. (Another book on this, albeit a bit fanciful, is The Dream Manager.)

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