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A Sample Leadership Strategy

March 1, 2004
Related Topics: Behavioral Training, Change Management, Featured Article

Sample Leadership Strategy
ABC Utility

Critical Competencies

    We’ve identified the following five competencies as most important for our executives, given our business strategy and our change environment.
  • Grows the business
  • Drives change
  • Builds commitment
  • Maximizes talent quality
  • Focuses on the customer
  • Sourcing Leaders

Sourcing Leaders

  • Make/buy mix. We will balance the ratio of internal hires/external hires in leadership at 70/30 to encourage new ideas and challenge our culture while providing opportunities for internal development.

  • Succession planning. Our succession-planning process will be the exclusive method for placing leaders into jobs. We will identify candidates and match them with opportunities based on this process, using the competencies as a primary screen.

  • Onboarding leaders. Retention and success of leaders in new roles (from inside or outside the company) will be increased through a process that provides guidance and coaching around both personal performance and relationship building.

Aligning Leaders
  • Performance management. We will set aggressive goals for all leaders in our performance-management process, ensuring that stretch goals are a key component and that a balanced measurement of business performance and individual behaviors occurs.

  • Engaging leaders. Executive engagement will be actively monitored through yearly surveys with human resources and the executive team, held jointly accountable for identifying and improving deficiencies.

  • Executive coaching. Providing select executives with coaching to further performance will be a core aspect of our strategy.

Developing Leaders
  • Assignment-based development. Job assignments will be the primary method for developing leaders, and a process to match individuals and jobs will flow from succession planning. Support of internal coaches will be provided to leaders in developmental assignments to help ensure success.

  • High-potential development. Our highest-potential employees will receive a disproportionate share of developmental resources. We will develop group activities for them, increase their exposure to the senior team and board, and review their performance on a semi-annual basis.

  • Executive development. We will provide group-based sessions for our leaders to develop capabilities in serving customers and communicating a clear vision and business acumen.

Rewarding Leaders
  • Base pay. We will set the 50th percentile as the goal for base pay, with high-potential employees identified through our succession process being paid at the 60th percentile.

  • Annual incentive. We will provide a 75th percentile target for annual incentives, strongly differentiating between median performers and high performers in distributing rewards.

  • Long-term incentives. We will use a combination of performance-vesting stock and regular stock options to provide incentives for consistent leader behavior. We will target the 75th percentile for these awards, strongly differentiating between median performers and high performers.

SOURCE: Reprinted with permission. From Leading the Way, by Robert Gandossy & Marc Effron, copyright 2004 by Hewitt Associates, published by John Wiley & Sons.

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