From the CEO’s Desk: How to Create a Strong Leadership Development Program

Who will be the future leaders of your company? Curating talent from within can be beneficial on multiple levels. Not only can you build a strong bond with employees, but you’ll boost morale, spark creativity, and inspire innovation.

Of course there are times when you must hire an external candidate, but studies show that helping employees reach their full potential by implementing a strong leadership development program can serve the company — and its bottom line — extremely well.

A loyal employee who brings enthusiasm to the team may have the drive to work his or her way up the rungs of the corporate ladder if you provide the appropriate opportunities. Whether you’re starting a new leadership development program, or overhauling the one already in place, consider these components of success.

Agree on goals

Yes, the goal of the program is to develop leaders, but take a step back and consider the goals of the company. Without a clear vision, it will be difficult to maintain solidarity throughout any leadership program. Define a direction, mission, values, and goals so all leaders — current and emerging — can synergistically rally together.

Determine targets

Often the best leadership development programs are by invitation only. That’s because a high-quality program can be costly to implement and maintain. These organizations will target employees who they truly feel are future leaders — those who care deeply and are passionate about the company.

Create program components

What goes into a successful leadership program will vary greatly from industry to industry and organization to organization. No matter what, you must incorporate opportunities that provide true value to participants. Inspiration should be at the heart of the program, with plentiful collaboration opportunities and access to executives.

Bring in outside experts to assist

A dynamic leadership program will be grounded internally but provide powerful insight from external sources. One example that has proven successful is hiring an expert that can provide leadership, executive, and organizational resilience coaching. Even the most experienced employees have blind spots, and these experts can provide valuable guidance for becoming an outstanding leader with strong communication and motivational skills.

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