I was recently reflecting on my time and experience in the corporate world; what the cultures were, what opportunities I had, the promotions I received or didn’t receive, just all of the dynamics that were happening. And I found something really interesting – over the course of my 15 years, I worked for two companies.

The first one hired me straight out of being an elementary school teacher. They were taking a risk for sure, but shortly after I was hired, I was promoted to an official leadership position. Now, I didn’t have any formal leadership training, I didn’t have formal leadership title or experience on my resume, yet there was something that this senior leadership team saw in me as an opportunity to promote me.

I was an assistant manager, moved into branch manager, I was running an entire branch, hiring, coaching, responsible for a branch’s P&L. Fast forward three years later, and I moved into the second organization. I now have a track record; I have proven results of my leadership experience. Yet, it took several years of me expressing interest in going into a leadership role before I was promoted.

In fact, it took a different manager of mine to get me into that true leadership position. Now, I don’t know exactly what the reasons are. I’ll give everyone a benefit of the doubt, but this brings me to a stale perspective that we see; that too many organizations expect people to be 100% ready, to already have this 100% proven track record before they get promoted to a leadership role. In fact, where is the training that we’re offering?

I didn’t receive any formal training prior; I was self-educated. Even after I got promoted into a formal leadership role, we didn’t have that training. I took it on myself. Well, where are organizations in terms of training?

We should be evaluating our potential leaders, looking at that leadership pipeline and saying, how are we going in and supporting these individuals now and helping them to be ready?

And then, where are some opportunities that are maybe soft approaches, where they can exhibit their leadership skills on projects or task forces that already show before they get promoted? There are also a certain group of people that can meet 80% – 90% of the job requirements; put them in that leadership role, give them the concurrent training, and they will rise to the challenge.

So individuals and organizations, how are we partnering together and taking equal responsibility to rise and raise everyone at the same level? Fill that leadership pipeline. If you want to retain your top talent, they are not looking to make the top salary; pay them fairly and invest in their training, show them that there’s opportunity for growth and development and a future for them at their organization.

This is going to grow top leaders in your organization today. Don’t wait for people to be ready, that is a stale myth! Let’s partner together, let’s find that rising talent, and let’s give them the opportunity. If you’re interested in hearing more about how my team and I go in and really forge new paradigms when it comes to women in leadership, I encourage you to click on the link and book a call with me. I would love to have this conversation with you. Let’s take action today and create top-tier leaders in the workforce.