Building Future Leaders Takes Time and Money

With all this talk of the changing of the guard, how is your company preparing the next wave of leadership? I had the opportunity to see a High Potential program run this past month. I took note of the palpable excitement among the group. What I also noticed was that the company didn’t shy away from telling these participants why they were there and how important they were to the organization. And while there were no guarantees made to the participants, their expectations of promotion, and success were set. “You’re the future leaders of this organization.”

Dollars and time were invested heavily into this program and make no mistake there was a clear message to the participants that they should cherish the investment and seize upon it to help them get to the next level. There’s no guarantee they get to that level, but what struck me most was how invested the company was in setting them up for success.

This program has built up a base of support, by convincing leaders that this was the right next step. From what I heard, these leaders are in full support of the program, but as we all know time is fleeting, so to keep the leaders engaged, this program will need to continue its momentum and build its legacy by showing its long term impact. Leaders won’t stay on board forever; it’s up to us to figure out how to keep them supportive.

Based on what I saw, the investment made was more than just dollars. The leadership team made it a point to be present, supportive and fully committed with their time, resources and knowledge. So, I ask you, how invested is your leadership in developing your organization’s next round of great leaders? Are they stuck in the middle between writing a check and making a real commitment of their time? Because in this economic environment, time is more valuable than money with regard to investing in your leaders of the future.

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