How CEO's Inspire Leadership

"Show me the CEO's calendar and I'll tell you how interested he [or she] is in developing leaders." - Noel Tichy

How much time do you spend reviewing your team?

Growth cannot be sustained for long without a strong motivation. How can an enterprise promote that motivation? The traditional answer to motivation was to make people do what it wanted by firing, demoting, or otherwise punishing those who didn't lead in a way that delivered such a motivation. That never worked well, and works even worse in today's information economy.

It Takes Time, Money, and Energy to Develop People...

You don't develop people on the cheap. Top performing CEOs agree that people development is at the center of their jobs. The largest investment is most likely going to be the TIME of the CEO and other executives. Former McDonald's CEO, Jim Skinner personally reviewed the development of the top two hundred managers. GE CEO, Jeff Immelt reviews the top 600. The CEO of Medtronic spends 50% of his time on people development, and many other CEOs report similar percentages - making that the largest single time commitment they have.

This focus on people creates a cascading effect. As their direct reports see what the boss if focused on, they then become devoted to developing people, as their subordinates, and so on.

Virtually all of these companies, in part, evaluate executives based on how well they're developing people, including themselves. Some companies even base 25% of executive variable pay on people development.

" We've found, through good times and bad [that it is critical to continuously invest in developing our leaders]. Jack Welch taught me that, and I still do it."

- GE CEO, Jeff Immelt

"Whirlpool developed a new training curriculum that is now bigger and more expensive, and it was worth every cent. This is the single best investment we make in our company."

- CEO, Jeff Fettig

Developing leaders isn't a program, it's a way of living. For example, honest feedback has to be culturally OK, and that starts at the top and needs to be reinforced down the chain. Devoting significant time to mentoring has to be accepted, and serving on community boards and working for nonprofits has to be encouraged, not just tolerated. These cultural norms cannot be dictated on short notice, they have to be cultivated and allowed to grow over time.

One key to devoting time and energy to developing your leaders, as well as yourself, is investing in the ability to focus that time on your efforts. With a strong HR function, leaders and executives tasked with developing the overall people and leadership development strategy have the support, access to expertise, and the ability to instill that critical "strong motivation."

If you would like assistance in ensuring your organization is effectively addressing leadership development, contact Windsor HR Services at 800-297-4962 or at

Kevin Steckley has been a small business advisor with Windsor HR since 2005 and in this time, he has worked with hundreds of companies serving thousands of employees across 40 states in a wide range of industries. He has a PHR Certification from the HR Certification Institute, as well as the SHRM-CP designation through the Society for Human Resources Management. He is a 2014 Business Journal 40 Under 40 Honoree, has served as a SHRM Chapter Board Member for 5 years and has helped raise over $443,000 through his involvement with several charities and community organizations over the past 7 years.

#HumanResources #HR #Leadership #CEO

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