Val H. Markos
At the helm of virtually every successful organization is an effective leader. Those organizations concerned about continued success, as almost all are, recognize that having effective leadership is necessary for that success. This recognition is the driving force for companies to develop current leadership and to identify and develop future leaders. It is often said that one of the most important roles of an organization's leader is to ensure succession of leadership. But how is such succession ensured? How do executives actually develop? How does an organization systematically develop talent to ensure effective leadership for today and for the future? This chapter will look at how organizations approach this task of developing leaders and at how an organization integrates practices and programs to maximize such development.
This chapter discusses four areas critical to executive development systems. An early issue that an HR practitioner must address in establishing development efforts is determining the level of organizational commitment and identifying the sponsor or champion. Next, the identification of executive talent and the evaluation or diagnosis of an executive's development needs should be determined. Although virtually all managers in an organization can develop, not all can or will develop into an executive and not all executives will develop to be a successful chief executive officer. Third, the activities that are commonly used to enhance executives' development need to be identified. The final area is the continu-