Leadership remains the number one talent issue facing organisations around the world. Despite the growing awareness around the importance of developing talent, there are still so few companies with a proactive approach to ensuring their talent pools enable, as opposed to constrain, their organisation’s growth.

 

A number of companies implement specific programs that are designed to nurture high potentials.

 

These programs are usually initiated with an annual merit based nomination process, but differ wildly in their execution and success. They range in focus from business rotations, stretch assignments and business opportunities, to program experiences, mentoring and coaching. Many programs fail to take a holistic perspective, and as such fail to achieve the intended business impact.

 

However, organisations can get amazing results from carefully designed experiences by focusing on a few key elements:

 

Know your high potentials

Consider the underlying characteristics of high potentials; ambitious, intelligent, impatient, eager to prove themselves and task oriented to name a few. This insight will help inform the experience your high potentials need to have in order to be better leaders, business people, and ultimately humans.

 

Build connected cohorts

The future of leading lies in collective leadership, and high potentials are a great vehicle for positive disruption and creating new norms. Collective leadership facilitates an environment where problem solving and support comes naturally. People are able to generate strategies and implement them quickly, as everyone is involved. Collaboration and shared experiences create a dynamic you want to establish among your future executives.

 

Focus on purpose

When a high potential leader has real conviction around the contribution they want to make and how, they are unstoppable. In this respect, it is crucial to spend time getting to know and deeply understand the self, and getting your future leaders to do the same as it allows them to make breakthroughs along their journey. Working on the head without the heart engaged, leads to superficial results. If you want your leaders to make big gains, you have to encourage them to focus on both their intellectual ambitions and innermost values.

 

This article was originally published for CEO Magazine

 

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