The Key Trait of Future Leaders? Strategic Planning

According to a recent study by the Management Resource Group, the best way to predict a good future leader is by assessing his or her ability to create a strategic plan.

If you’re hoping to find the right person to eventually take the reins at your organization, check out the candidates’ strategic planning skills.

That’s what new research from the Management Resource Group suggests. More details:

The study: The research firm recently conducted an in-depth study of managers and department heads in the U.S. between the ages of 20 and 35. Their goal? To figure out the best ways for managers and department heads to discover untapped talent who would excel in a leadership role. “Accurately identifying who is going to do well in those slots is becoming a real challenge,”  Robert Kabacoff, Management Resource Group’s vice president, told the BBC.

What you should look for: According to the group’s research [PDF], long-term thinking and planning skills are paramount—along with the ability to push both oneself and others. An ability to roll with the punches and keep up with innovation and change, along with the strength to challenge the status quo, are also seen as strong points.

The results in action: Pitney Bowes and Starwood Hotels and Resorts are among the companies that have created management training programs based on internal reviews. In the hotel chain’s case, rising stars are asked to spend time with senior executives to solve tough problems—a way to strengthen relationships between potential and current leaders, according to the BBC. Pitney Bowes gives its rising stars challenging projects to test their strength and commitment.

How do you spot and nurture up-and-coming talent in your organization? Let us know your take in the comments.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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