SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Organizations will soon be worried about a lot more than finding their next CEO. There is a serious problem in the making due to the financial downturn. Workers have delayed retirement, creating a “gray ceiling” in many organizations. In addition, companies pared back investments perceived as unnecessary and as a result, formal development programs have been slowed, downsized or totally abandoned. This has created a shortage of leaders who are prepared to advance to higher leadership positions.
“The good and bad news is that beginning now, about four million executives will retire each year,” said Jack Zenger, CEO of Zenger Folkman. “The outflow valve is opening and the flood of upper management vacancies will appear. However, there are serious concerns on the part of senior executives about whether or not the input valve is open that prepares the generation below them to receive the necessary development to take over.”
A study by Zenger Folkman in Harvard Business Review shared that on average, companies don’t start development for leaders until age 42. More than half of the participants in the study were between 36 and 49. Less than 10% were under 30, and less than 5% were under 27.
Companies are scrambling to identify individuals and accelerating the development process for those capable of stepping into these roles. There are three things companies can do to prepare for the future:
- Create a culture that values development
- Start leadership development earlier
- Continue to emphasize promotion from within
“By doing these things, organizations will greatly benefit from having better trained leaders,” explained Zenger. “The leaders themselves will have more rewarding, positive experiences. And subordinates greatly benefit. Every employee deserves to work for an effective leader. The immediate manager is the strongest determinant of the level of engagement of all employees in that group. How many leaders who’ve failed would have never experienced this outcome if they’d been prepared to lead early on rather than being thrown without preparation into the fray?”
To learn more ways to improve your leadership pipeline attend the Zenger Folkman Webinar, Accelerating Leadership Development- Why We Should Do This Now!, on Wednesday Sept. 28, 2016. For more information on these findings and how to incorporate them into a leadership development plan, visit www.zengerfolkman.com.
Zenger Folkman is the authority in strengths-based leadership development. Their award-winning programs employ research-based methods that improve organizations and turn good managers into extraordinary leaders.