Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Where Is The Next Generation of Leaders?

Highly effective people in the right positions within a company can make a profound difference. They can generate focus, momentum and commitment. They can be the determining factor that makes people want to improve and to innovate when challenges arise. However, identifying and developing these current and future leaders has itself become the new challenge for everyone these days.  

Claudio Fernandez-Araoz in his June 2014 Harvard Business Review article called “21st Century Talent Spotting: Why potential now trumps brains, experience, and competencies” writes that “the sweet spot for rising senior executives is the 35-to-44-year-old age bracket, but the percentage of people in that range is shrinking dramatically. In our 2006 study, we calculated that a projected 30% decline in the ranks of young leaders combined with anticipated business growth, would cut in half the pool of senior leader candidates in that critical age group. Whereas a decade ago this demographic shift was affecting mostly the United States and Europe, by 2020 many other countries, including Russia, Canada, South Korea, and China, will have more people at retirement age than entering the workforce.”  

With the impact of the above demographics and the continued rise of globalization within the work force, it is imperative that companies, who seek to be successful on an ongoing basis, have a well developed and effect pipeline of future leaders. Yet as reported in the above article, the author notes the following: “In PriceWaterhouseCooper’s 2014 survey of CEOs in 68 countries, 63% of respondents said they were concerned about the future availability of key skills at all levels. The Boston Consulting Group cites proprietary research showing that 56% of executives see critical gaps in their ability to fill senior managerial roles in the coming years.” Clearly, the need for leadership is great but the ability to meet this need is struggling. With the pace of change accelerating, we also can not predict the key skill sets needed just a few years out.

Within Fernandez-Araoz’s research reported in the above mentioned article, he points out the following “five markers of potential” for people who could be 21st century leaders: “a strong motivation to excel in the pursuit of challenging goals combined with the humility to put the group ahead of individual needs; an insatiable curiosity to explore new ideas and avenues; keen insight into connections that others don’t see; a strong engagement with work and people; and the determination to overcome obstacles.” Once we have hired the right people and identified them as people with potential, then we need to retain them and develop them for the future. They need to grow in the depth and scope of their understanding of leadership, strategy and organizational change.

Here is where the 2015 From Vision to Action Leadership Training fits into this picture. Through a challenging, interactive curriculum which blends lectures, selected readings, small and large group discussions, and how to skill-building exercises, participants in this four part leadership training gain critical knowledge and skills which improve their ability to lead people to generate short and long term success. For more information on how to register for the 2015 From Vision to Action Leadership Training, please click on the following link: http://www.chartyourpath.com/VTA-Leadership-Training.html 

Finding and developing the next generation of leaders is a top priority during the coming months and years. One solution is the 2015 From Vision to Action Leadership Training. I look forward to you participation!

Geery Howe, M.A. Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer in Leadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational Change Morning Star Associates 319 - 643 - 2257

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