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Issue: Your unique vantage point in HR equips you to identify managers with the potential to become company leaders.

Benefit: By sharing your insights with top execs, you'll help build organizational excellence and make yourself more valuable.

Action: Use these tips to alert top execs to possible future leaders they might be missing.


Organizational leaders are always eager to identify which managers have the potential to rise to top leadership roles. Yet, in many cases, their limited vantage points hinder their ability to identify those rising stars.

The CEO probably knows which managers are meeting production goals or containing costs. But a lot of other information is flying under top management's radar—valuable information that you possess in HR, such as: 

  • Positive feedback. Employees talk to you in glowing terms about working for a particular boss.
  • Diligent recruiting. Certain managers create thoughtful job descriptions, interview applicants with care and invest extra effort in recruiting.
  • Organizational skills. You can name the managers who conduct thoughtful, well-documented job reviews ... and do it on time.
  • Enlightened supervision. In conversations with managers, you've become aware of which ones express genuine empathy and concern for the people who work for them.

On the flip side, you also see many supervisory problems that top executives miss. For example, you know that a particular boss's personnel records are a shambles or that many employees are unhappy working for a certain manager.


Your Guide to Effective, Legal Performance Reviews in 2012


It's clear that you possess insights that can help your company identify its future leaders, but how can you convey that knowledge upward? Here are three tips:

1. Communicate your insights regularly. In meetings with company leaders, carve out a regular time to share insights about which managers are doing an exceptionally good job managing the HR side of their jobs (e.g., supervising, documenting, hiring).

2. Share good news, not just bad. It's too easy to fall into the pattern of communicating only negative information. You obviously need to speak up if three employees in a department just quit or if a certain manager hasn't conducted a single job review for six months. But you also need to convey good news about managers. Doing so will increase your CEO's receptiveness to your overall message.

3. Don't hesitate to name names. "Chris Johnson in sales has the ability to take on a critical role as we introduce new products." Help top management track those rising managers' progress.

Bottom line: Following these steps helps your company move excellence up through the ranks.

At the same time, it builds your role as a positive force and a strategic thinker who has the organization's future in mind.

Performance Reviews: How to Conduct Them Legally and Effectively

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