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 have 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.
This part was met with the greatest resistance by HR and the leadership development team. 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 was 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 10 subordinates and setting the expectations that those subordinates will serve in a mentoring function with their subordinates and so on through the organization.
We had to ensure that the mentoring and development where part of the Organizational Metrics using criteria in the shared strategy and skilled-knowledge. Also, that these would be part of the monthly, quarterly, 6 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 strategic vision of the organization.
The Leadership Development Team found the meeting with the CEO to be very eye opening and creating the accountability list above was useful 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 2 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 are doing this and that the company is serious about the future leadership development of all the staff.
With CEO and Senior Managerial-Leaders involved and having clear measures of success, a Strategy for Leadership-Development, the needed Skilled-Knowledge, Selection Process, Managers as Mentors and how we will Educate for Leadership the ~150 potential managerial-leaders, we kept on focusing on what is working and what the next steps will be…
Reference: John Adair; How to Grow Leaders