Although delegation is a crucial skill in a leader, one thing you should not delegate is developing and finding future leaders. A classic HBR article by Larry Bossidy, retired CEO of AlliedSignal (now Honeywell), recalled that the greatest challenge he faced in turning around AlliedSignal was building the management team so it was competitive. Bossidy wrote that despite the challenges he faced, he devoted 30–40 percent of his time to hiring and developing leaders. He concludes that AlliedSignal’s success was due in large part to the amount of time and emotional commitment he made to leadership development.
The first step is to be directly involved in the recruitment of leaders. This does not mean only those who report to you, but evaluating the direct reports of direct reports and even going further down the line when necessary. This includes interviewing as many of the future leaders that you can, thereby setting a standard internally; if you hire a good person they will hire good people. Continue reading “The job no leader should delegate (or ignore)”