Cultivating Future Leaders

We have a great client in Northeast Ohio that truly values its employees. Most of the company’s press releases are about people who have been promoted from within, many who have been with the company their whole careers. While a few executives have been hired from the outside, most are “home grown” including the CEO. All share the company’s vision and values, and work together for success.

How has this company succeeded when so many struggle? The DDI Global Leadership Forecast 2018 report revealed that only 14% of CEO’s believe they have the leadership talent in place to execute their strategies. Here are a few of my observations of how my client develops leadership talent.

1. The company provides career planning and guidance for all employees, not just those identified as high potential employees. This practice provides equal advancement opportunity to everyone.

2. The company encourages employees to take new challenges based on their strengths and successes, often outside their current function. This develops cross-functional communication and collaboration.

3. People are provided coaching, mentoring and frequent feedback from managers. The company culture is positive, encouraging and motivating.

4. If someone “fails” in a role, the company finds other opportunities that will provide value and help the person succeed. The company rarely lets employees go.

5. Everyone is treated like family.

Using this approach, our client finds that many leaders emerge from unlikely roles and functions. All people have potential.

To help people succeed, provide guardrails that make it safe to fail. To develop future leaders, provide leadership opportunities early and often – for everyone. Make cultivating leaders, well, cultural.