Leading, Not Managing March 26, 2013

Remove leadership pipeline, urges academic

It does not help a business to have a leadership pipeline going up to senior positions, it has been claimed. 


David Clutterbuck, a widely acclaimed HR thinker as well as a professor of coaching and mentoring at Sheffield Hallam and Oxford Brookes universities, suggests that more honest conversations are required regarding where the real talent lies in a firm, rather than relying on inflexible pipelines. 

He said: "It's narrow, one-way, restricted, leaks and creates clones and a lot of blockages. How can we expect our most talented individuals to stay if they're waiting for 'dead man's shoes'?" 

In organisational terms this may mean providing leadership development opportunities not only to the people next in line to take on a position of responsibility, but to others as well. Mr Clutterbuck suggested many companies do not know who their most talented employees are, which is something that needs to be remedied. 

This week, sustainablebusinessforum.com contributor Ted Coine offered a series of tips for people keen to become effective leaders; one of these was that good leaders must not be afraid of being disliked, as this can get in the way of their ability to see 'two steps ahead' and navigate the firm properly. 

Mr Coine also pointed out that a leader must also understand that it is not all about them, instead it is about leading others - which can be hard for some individuals in power to understand.

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