Building Second Line is the biggest challenge in SME’s. This may be due to the focus of entrepreneur which is  very internal and personal. Development of Second Line needs a broader outlook and ability to think and create an environment of trust.  Its also to do with the openness of  SME owner to create wealth for their future leaders along with risk taking ability with people.


Identify: Not that every employee who joins you would grow to be a Second Line material. You need to look for the attitude, commitment and passion for your business. Put them through some tough situations of business need and take risk of testing. Identify few potential employees to be able to take the next level of responsibilities with Accountability.

Build & Encourage: After you identified the potential, you can use various occasions to tell them that you are looking at them to grow their career. Here its important that you make it very clear that they need to build that competency and move towards achieving growth. Make it clear that “Its Not Easy Cake Walk“.  Do also make sure that no false promises in terms of position, money etc., at this stage. Be firm on many decisions where you have to be assertive.  Encourage them to take up new and self improvement goals for constant improvement of knowledge and skill.   Also assign some of the futuristic targets and help them to achieve. Take that bit of risk if they fail, plan for backup plan from your end.  Building & Encouraging is all about building the mutual trust and ability to go that extra mile.  

Sustain : Have clear goals for achievement at each stage & review. Set certain higher standards in moving the people to next level. The ideal situation is that the employee can measure and update you on the status of his/her growth as planned. You need to be a mentor and translate your knowledge without being threatened about competition.   Always remember, we out grow our capacity and we need others who have skills to takeover for better growth.