Accelerating Leadership Development


I just finished reading a research brief from Aberdeen Group titled Accelerating Leadership Development and thought I would share a few interesting tidbits.

–          Organizations surveyed in the study are only “capable of delivering two thirds of the leaders they will require in the next three to five years”.  This should come as no surprise to anyone.  Our profession has had our head in the sand while the writing has been on the wall for the last decade (or more).

–          It takes an average of 29 months to “develop a high potential mid-level manager into a ready now senior leader”.  The obvious lesson here is that we cannot continue to “put off” developing our next senior leaders.  Do something soon, or it just may be too late.

Easier said than done? Not Really.

Best-In-Class organizations share three very common strategies that can be implemented by your organization without having to re-invent the wheel. Best-In-Class organizations are more likely:

–          Identify high potential talent with formal assessments


–          Make development a priority and the responsibility of everyone in the organization


–          Combine formal development programs with real-world assignments to accelerate development


While the above strategies are certainly common, it is unfortunately uncommon to find the strategies implemented.  With this in mind, my suggestion would be to start small and continue to build on your initial successes.

Starting with something as simple as a quality leadership assessment, a company can quickly have an objective and transparent measure of leadership potential.  While not the only answer to your leadership needs, an assessment is a great place to start.  Companies have used our Leadership Skills Profile and our Own Your Leadership workshop to get the entire organization engaged and to serve as the initial driver for identifying real-world development opportunities.

Try to make at least a small commitment to doing something today to prepare your future leaders for tomorrow.  Getting some quick wins with minimal investment from individuals and the organization will go a long way in helping to “insulate your organization against looming leadership shortages.”

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