Are You Focusing Your Leadership Development Efforts on the Right Group?

Recently, Right Management and The Conference Board conducted a survey of leadership development trends, collecting insights from 650+ executives worldwide. One finding that stood out is that despite the collective concern over the coming leadership vacuum as baby boomers retire, organizations may not be paying sufficient attention to building skills of their future business leaders – the mid-level managers.


Among respondents from Asia and Europe, mid-level managers warranted third place in leadership development efforts behind senior managers and high potential talent. In North America, senior managers came in first, followed by mid-level managers and first-line supervisors.


This trend has particular ramifications in light of another survey result: the majority of companies in all regions are more likely to grow talent and promote internally; fewer than 20 percent expect to hire leaders from the open market. It is the current crop of middle managers who ultimately form the executive leadership group of tomorrow, yet most companies are not making the leadership training of these individuals a clear priority.


What skills should you develop in your mid-level managers? According to our survey of global executives, the leadership competencies that will matter most over the next five years are:




Given the rough economic markets of late, and the tactical requirements necessary to weather them, many organizations have been focused rightly on the here-and-now. Strategic leadership considerations for the future have taken a back seat. Now is the time to get your development program in order and make sure your initiatives are aligned to your critical objectives and focused on the right targets. The coming leadership gap is real and organizations that are not preparing future leaders to step up risk falling behind.


How does your organization compare with others on the question of target audiences for leadership development? Take our mini-survey and find out.



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