Future-proof your Leaders: How upskilling your people early on will help them succeed in their new role. 

by | Nov 27, 2023 | L&D, Leadership, Training | 0 comments

We know, that in any business, leaders have more responsibilities than they can count

And the list of challenges continues to grow as work changes over time, (like hybrid and remote working, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and digital transformation). 

So, how can forward-thinking companies embrace and exploit these challenges?  


I suggest starting from: 

Recruiting experienced leaders from outside your organisation. 

Upskill existing team members and develop their leadership skills. 


What are the pros and cons? 


Option 1 – Recruit from outside. 

  • Well, for starters, it’s obvious that when recruiting external people, you could create disengagement by overlooking those team members who were ready to step up and take on more responsibilities. 
  • Additionally, recruiting can be more expensive than upskilling and promoting internally. 
  • Finally, the onboarding process can be time-consuming, impacting teams and the business. 

Option (2) – Promote and upskill internally.  

  • When you invest in developing existing team members, you boost loyalty and remove recruitment costs. 
  • By promoting someone internally, there will be no reduction in productivity, as they’re already familiar with your business and embrace your culture and values. 


The outcomes of promoting and upskilling internally are best demonstrated by a talent programme I worked on for one of the largest motor groups in the UK. 

The talent programme focussed on upskilling the knowledge and abilities of junior managers/supervisors.  

➡️As a first step, junior managers/supervisors would be nominated by their Line/Senior Manager and then attend an offsite Assessment Day.  

➡️During the assessment day, all attendees would be presented with various scenarios, including role plays and competence appraisals. 

➡️The successful candidates would then move forward with a 12-month development programme. 

The programme became widely successful and is still active.  

The great results of this approach are a testament to why you should be investing in your people and believe in them before you look for talent elsewhere. 

While promoting internally might not always be possible, especially if we are talking about very senior roles, when it comes to your middle managers/leaders, you should always look at your people first.  

✅ Start planning their career progression from day one: this will ensure they’re exposed to the right mentors, training and experiences. 

✅ Give them the opportunity to upskill and gain new knowledge: this will allow you to ensure they gain the skills your business needs and will give them the opportunity to grow and choose their career path. 

Simply invest in your people:

it will pay back. 


Your future Leaders are probably already within your organisation.  

Your first challenge is to identify and develop them.

Then nurture and mentor them to build a strong, well-skilled team of leaders who will support your business in adapting to and succeeding in the changing environment.


Since 2006, The Motivation Agency has been helping businesses create environments where people can grow, thrive, and succeed.

Our e-learning course Connect is designed to empower line managers with the skills and knowledge to work positively and productively from day one with their team members.

Hugh Lawson

Hugh Lawson

Learning and Development Trainer

An expert in behavioural change, Hugh has had a wide range of successes in coaching people over the last 20 years.

From working with UK household names such as Jardine Motors Group in the automotive sector and Shell in the petroleum industry to becoming a Coach for the British Waterski & Wakeboard Federation, Hugh has proven the effectiveness of great coaching more than once during his career.