3 Steps to Develop an Effective Executive

The failure rate of senior leaders has steadily increased over the past 25 years*. In fact, more than 50% of North American CEOs were forced to resign because of performance according to a study conducted by the Harvard Business School. And did you know that approximately 40% of new executives fail in the first 18 months**? So much for your return on investment. You need an effective executive to move your business into the future. What precautions are you taking to keep them from failing in their new role?

“Companies aren’t always proactive in preparing for future leadership gaps,” says Marcia Mueller, Vice President of Global Leadership Development at IMPACT Group. “They aren’t scanning the environment asking, ‘What will my future leadership needs be? Who do I have in the wing?’”

Companies know they should be planning, but they aren’t sure what to do. Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report states that 59% of HR professionals describe their workforce planning as weak. That leaves a lot of room for error when it is time to fill positions.

What steps should you take to empower an effective executive and stop top-tier leaders from failing at your office? These three tips can help.

1. Ensure Your Top Leaders See Themselves as Talent Developers

You encourage your leaders to focus on results, but do you empower them to maximize their team’s potential? “When leaders understand the importance of developing the talent at their organization, they are more committed to actively investing in growing the skills of others,” says Marcia. “Organizations should find a marriage between formal trainings and day-to-day learning opportunities to achieve this.”

It takes time to actively engage in training, but the long-term benefits are tremendous. Prioritize the role your leaders play in preparing future managers. “Buy-in from top leaders ensures talent is groomed in advance of future gaps. This creates deep bench strength.”

2. Maximize Your Homegrown Talent to Cultivate an Effective Executive 

“Organizations track their revenue monthly, yet talent is their greatest asset. Why are companies only evaluating team members once or twice a year?” Marcia comments. “When you take the time to develop your current talent, they win as they gain valuable skills and develop their potential. The company wins as they are build their talent pipeline for future succession needs.” Your next effective executive may just be in your current ranks.

IMPACT Group’s tailored leadership programs for rising leaders, women in leadership, and top executives align an individual’s strengths with their company’s core values. Throughout these programs, leaders have the opportunity to work with their manager and a dedicated career coach to continuously hone their potential.

“When looking at your strategic talent goals, plan now to determine who your high-potential employees are and how you want them to grow,” says Marcia.

3. Acclimate New Leaders Faster

While The Case for Internal Promotions states internal candidates are smart choices for vacant leadership roles, external candidates can add great value to an organization.

It takes more time for these individuals to acclimate to the company’s structure, develop rapport with direct reports, and understand their manager’s expectations. “We have developed a strategic acclimation framework to help new leaders see the 20,000 foot view when they integrate into a new company,” says Marcia. “The 100-day leader acclimation program involves the new leader’s team during the acclimation process. This facilitates a quicker learning curve and maximizes the individual’s experience.” When leaders have the support they need to acclimate faster, they can start delivering the results your company needs today – and become an effective executive in less time.

Are you ready to prevent top-tier leaders from failing at your office? IMPACT Group is here to help. Explore our leadership development programs here.

* The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), The Search for Executive Talent
**Fortune.com, New job? Get a head start now