To realize tomorrow’s strategic priorities, today’s mid-level talent must recognize and respond to the challenges that emerge in a continually shifting business landscape. Keeping pace with a steady stream of evolving threats and opportunities cannot be accomplished solely through the top-down dissemination of organizational priorities. What should emerge from the executive level is a culture steeped in learning, empowerment, and intentional practice as a firm foundation on which to establish and implement relevant strategies. Toward that end, effective leadership development addresses the whole person using holistic learning to transform leadership potential into sustainable, responsive performance. Strategic execution is difficult to teach. Too often, businesses expect leadership abilities to spring from minimally impactful and piecemeal one-off trainings offered in day-long workshops, or in the worst case, executives rely on hope as a strategy, crossing their fingers that their leadership talent bench will gain the right experience and skills as a result of project work. If they shortchange leadership development, businesses run the risk of squandering their greatest asset: their people. The long-term strategic opportunity lies with developing mid-level talent to be the champions and protagonists of change.
This white paper outlines DDJ Myers’ approach to developing the talents of mid-level contributors and managers to become strategic players in their organizations. The award-winning Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) empowers and engages participants to enhance their competencies, strategic orientation, and productive relationships with peers, executives, and staff. The cohort-based ELP facilitates learning and the application of leadership practices aligned with strategic execution, as demonstrated by the real-life examples and perspectives of program participants shared in this document. The experiences of these participants illustrate how the program can be integrated within the leadership development efforts of a single business entity or seeded across multiple organizations.