An earlier post listed the 7 Principles of Leadership Development in no specific order of importance:
- Necessary Skilled-Knowledge
- Using Existing Employees as Mentors
- Education for Leadership
- Strategy for Leadership Development
- The Chief Executive
- The Chance to Lead
Exploring lessons learned and how an organization and I developed a leadership development process for high-potential employees.
If you are in the top strategic managerial-leader role in an organization, you own the problem of selecting and developing the business leaders it needs, not just for today but also for tomorrow. You can share it with others and delegate certain aspects to others, but you are accountable. – John Adair
Leadership Development and the Chief Executive
Now that we had an idea of the needed skilled-knowledge, selected who should be involved, and began the development of using existing employees as mentors in the leadership development process, a shared strategy, we had to re-involve the CEO, the highest ranking managerial-leader with this leadership development process.
HR and the leadership development team met this part with the most significant resistance. Some people stated, “He tasked this project to us, and I feel we don’t need to involve him. He may take over and micro-manage us.” This may be a true statement, and the CEO played a large part in determining the needed Skilled-Knowledge and working to identify through the Talent Pool Assessment the vacancies, strengths, and gaps that are projected over the next 3, 5, 10, and 15 years.
Plus, I had been meeting and submitting reports monthly on the progress of the Leadership Development Process and adjusting based upon the CEO’s recommendations.
Meeting with the CEO and framing the need for him to also serve as a mentor to his ten associates and setting the expectations that those associates will do in a mentoring function with their associates and so on through the Organization.
We had to ensure that the mentoring and development were part of the Organizational Metrics using criteria in the shared strategy and skilled-knowledge. Also, these would be part of the monthly, quarterly, six-month, and yearly performance reviews.
With the CEO the following responsibilities for the CEO and Senior Managerial-Leadership were decided:
- The CEO is accountable for follow-up and maintenance of the succession planning and defined metrics of the Leadership-Development;
- Publically sharing what the CEO is accountable for and his metrics based upon the Leadership-Development process in the quarterly town hall meetings;
- Visiting the courses monthly and sharing a few words about the importance of development within the Organization;
- Quarterly meetings with the internal training & development staff that will be teaching the skilled-knowledge sections and working with the mentors. This will serve as an update meeting plus a way to determine what is working and what may be needed for more success;
- Updates to the Board of Directors sharing the progress and how it aligns with the organization’s strategic vision.
The Leadership Development Team found the meeting with the CEO to be very eye-opening. Creating the accountability list above was helpful for the CEO to know what was expected, and he could share that with the Organization.
When we had our 1st town hall meeting, about two weeks after kicking off the Leadership-Development Process, the CEO shared what he is expected to complete and how he will be measured. Sharing that “We are all in the company to be successful, I am with you on this journey we all have measures to hit and work to do…Let’s do this together.” There was a palpable sense of excitement and clarity of why we were doing this and that the company was serious about the staff’s future leadership development.
With CEO and Senior Managerial-Leaders involved and having clear measures of success, a Strategy for Leadership-Development, the needed Skilled-Knowledge, the Selection Process, Managers as Mentors, and how we will Educate Leadership of the ~150 potential managerial-leaders, we kept on focusing on what working and what the next steps will be…
Reference: John Adair; How to Grow Leaders