This book is primarily intended for practicing business people--especially those who aspire to top management positions and those responsible for developing future business leaders. Our research over the past ten years has focused on the complexity of upward mobility in today's ever changing business organizations. The result of this research is presented here in the hope that it will prove useful to business people.
One of the most critical tasks facing human resource professionals in the 1990s and beyond will be identifying and developing aspiring top executives. The information presented in this book will provide useful data, options, and recommendations for the development and implementation of such programs. This will not be an easy task. Imagine the following mythical fable.
Once upon a time there existed a land in which most of the people worked on the rich farmland at the foot of a range of semi-active volcanoes. While their lives were comfortable, many were attracted to the challenge of climbing the volcanic mountains in the hope of finding great riches and power at the top. It was a very difficult climb and only a small number ever reached the peaks.
Eager young climbers often studied the methods used by the older successful climbers in the hope that, by following proven paths and using proven techniques, they too might reach the summit. Unfortunately, these volcanic mounts were constantly changing; sometimes in subtle, almost imperceptible ways, sometimes violently and catastrophically. Relatively easy paths to the top became very difficult, almost