SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How deep is the bench strength in your organization?

  • Great. We have solid succession plans in place with lots of great players: 7.67%
  • OK. We have high potential candidates identified for the most critical positions: 32.63%
  • Marginal. We do a mediocre job of building our talent base: 39.48%
  • Poor. Our bench is pretty bare and we lack solid succession plans: 20.23%

Be ready to lose your stars. Clearly we’re not doing enough to build and maintain bench strength. Part of the problem is we see talent losses as long-term risks until that person quits and puts us in a pinch. We also see the talent pipeline as HR’s challenge and problem to solve. Wrong. Your job as a leader is to be grooming that next team of superstars. Because you will lose the members of your team eventually. The real task of leadership is to grow more leaders.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”

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