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How to Establish a Leadership Development Program

Creating a leadership development program in any organization is a difficult task. This is especially true when you are starting from scratch. While some people are naturally champions, more often than not people will be neutral or even skeptical about such initiatives. Until you can start showing results, you won't be able to instill this into the culture. So be prepared for a long term venture. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Leadership commitment at the top: When asked, most CEOs will usually admit that people are one of their most important assets. Surprisingly, many don't spend as much time managing "people" or "talent" as they are called in larger organizations. You can also navigate to discover the leadership development webinars.

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However, if you look at the ongoing studies of companies that are known to be great at leadership development, CEOs at each company spend a lot of time managing talent — often as much as 30 percent of their time. So if you're looking to start a leadership development program, it's probably most important to get the leader's commitment from the very top, the CEO, first. For this he had to spend a lot of time. Without a serious commitment from your CEO, you will not succeed.

Get executive support for the steering committee: If the CEO is committed, ask him to sponsor the steering committee. The committee may include several other directors and possibly several senior middle managers. While it is good to have some human resources on the committee, the important thing is that the committee is not dominated by all types of human resources. It should be a body of mostly direct managers who are important influencers in the organization. They need to be the 'champions' selling this as a management-led initiative and not just a 'HR program'.

Research the needs of your organization: Try to define the needs of the organization. Identify key positions and how to fill them in the future.