How do we effectively retain, engage, and better prepare our future leaders for success?
27 Mar 2014

How do we effectively retain, engage, and better prepare our future leaders for success?


categories: Facilitation, Leadership, Leadership Development, Simulations Solutions

There are many reasons why I love my job. One is that I get to work with the people and companies who get it. Who get that they need to invest in people, keep the leadership pipeline full with potential, and that leadership development is not just for the top of house.

There are 75 million Baby Boomers in the U.S, and the oldest of them are already retired or moving toward retirement. With only 45 million Gen-Xers, we have both a shortage of talent and a shortage of leaders. That means we must accelerate the development of the Millennials, those workers age 33 or younger, as many will be called upon to lead sooner than you might want.

Raised with personal cell phones, the Internet and social media, Millennials have many strengths: they’re tech-savvy, creative and innovative. They also have their areas of struggle, namely, interpersonal skills and an expectation and need for frequent feedback. In order to make sure your future leaders are well prepared as they move through the succession pipeline we must use methods that work best for them, leveraging their strengths and creating an environment where they can develop their interpersonal skills and receive ample feedback.

The traditional methods of training and development used in the past will not engage and accelerate development for this new breed. Generic off the shelf programs are not going to cut it.

I am blessed to know so many great people, who are my clients, my friends, and mentors in the industry. So I am going to tap their brilliant minds for some nuggets of information to help answer the question, “how do we effectively retain, engage, and better prepare our future leaders for success?”

Stop spending classroom time communicating concepts that can be better communicated in advance of the event via some form of pre-work.  Classroom time is too precious.  Focus “face time” as much as possible on application and practice and Q & A of the key concepts. Jane Dowd, Director, Learning & Organizational Development, College of American Pathologists

Thank you, Jane, for kicking this off.

Key Takeaways:

  • Classroom development is integral to success. Millennials grew up in a social world, a faceless world. To be a great leader you need people skills, and you can’t learn that online.
  • What little face time you have, make sure you use it dynamically and effectively. These folks have unlimited access to content, so don’t waste valuable classroom time on imparting new knowledge. Instead, focus on creating a safe and engaging experience where they can practice leadership skills, make formative mistakes and get immediate feedback.
  • Don’t just have a learning event in a vacuum. Any learning event should be part of a larger continuum. Leveraging technology to deliver Pre and post work will ensure effective use of the event and also drive continuous learning.

Links for further reading:

  • HRO Today: To engage Gen Y Workers, Adopt New Approaches
  • Deloitte: The Performance Management Puzzle – Human Capital Trends 2013
  • Forbes: Millennials Will Soon Rule the Word, But How Will They Lead?
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