Myths and Methods for Developing Our Next Generation of LeadersIn the next 5 -10 years we’re going to see waves of leaders retire. Forward thinking organizations are now deep into succession planning as they prepare for this big generational change.

In his Harvard Business Review blog, “We Wait Too Long to Train Our Leaders,” Jack Zenger highlights Zenger Folkman’s research showing that many supervisors get little to no leadership training for nearly a decade! He very rightly pulls the fire alarm on this practice for these three reasons:

• Practice without training ingrains bad habits.
• Practice makes perfect only if done correctly.
• Your young supervisors are practicing on the job whether you’ve trained them or not.

In his Forbes column, “Should Your Company Be Investing More Heavily in Its Gen Y Execs?” Jack highlights further Zenger Folkman research on this critical issue:

• “One of the stereotypes we have about the youngest generation is that they are more focused on themselves and less focused on company objectives. After analyzing the data on these different groups we learned that the Gen Y group had the highest scores when it came to driving for results.
• Gen Y is sometimes stereotyped as being self-centered. Yet on the leadership competence of Collaboration and Teamwork, they were at the 60th percentile, while the percentile scores were lower for each older generation.
• Probably to no one’s surprise, the Gen Y group received the highest scores on Innovation.
• The final surprise was the extremely high scores of the Gen Y group on the dimension of Practicing Self Development. Here they were at the 64th percentile while the Boomers were at the 52nd percentile. This contradicts the image of complacent know-it-alls that is held by some.”

We need to start leadership development much earlier. Unlearning bad habits is a lot harder than forming effective skills in the beginning.

Further Reading:

• “Leading Generation X
• “We Need Less Generational Nonsense and More Leadership
• “More on Less Generational Nonsense