As Baby Boomers continue to retire in droves, the need to prepare high potential leaders for stepping quickly into leadership roles has never been more critical. Executive coaching and team dynamics specialist, Whit Mitchell, has helped good leaders become even better for nearly the last decade at Tuck Executive Education. Using a methodology called Inner Circle Coaching, Whit blends one-on-one coaching, web-based behavior tools and team accountability to create high performing leaders. He is the author of Working in Sync, which tells the stories of eleven former Dartmouth crew athletes who went on to lead exceptional lives. They all have one thing in common: each credits part of his success to lessons learned during college crew under coach Whit Mitchell. In all eleven stories, the most important lesson is that success is achieved through working together—working in sync—with colleagues, clients, and loved ones.
Recently Whit sat down with our executive director, Clark Callahan, to get his thoughts on how to best prepare future leaders for the changes ahead and explains the role of executive education in preparing emerging leaders for the big leadership challenges ahead.
Q: Tell us about the current potential for emerging leaders to enter and fill leadership roles. What is creating this opportunity and what are the results?
Clark: In general, I think there are a couple of dynamics at work in creating opportunities for emerging leaders to step into leadership roles. One of them is that really high potential leaders are actually under-populated in large companies and large organizations, and so there are huge leadership opportunities out there. In fact, if you look at the broad strokes of the demographics of the workforce, there are large numbers of baby boomers retiring, leaving lots of room for emerging leaders to come in behind them. The potential is obviously huge and in fact it raises a question for folks in my business—in executive education—we’re in the business of accelerating the readiness of high potential leaders, but how we can get even better at it? How can we accelerate that process even more? How can we give people the experience, the networks, the knowledge, to be ready when their organizations need them to step up and take broader leadership roles?