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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Soemthing Better: Leadership Development

This is the fifth of several posts this week based on my review of the book: The Pursuit of Something Better by Dave Esler and Myra Kruger...available on Amazon. I highly recommend for senior executives who want a handle on how to build culture in a company.

Like General Electric leadership guru Jack Welch, Jack Rooney did not leave leadership development to chance. His program consists of an on-boarding process as well as a development program—centered on the Leadership Development Workshop.

Thanks to research reported by Harvard professor Michael Watkins (in his book, The First 90 Days), we know how important the on-boarding process is for any company and its employees. The fact is that 40-50% of executives coming into a company will fail in a couple of years and cost the company $2.7 million. Rooney seems to intuitively understand this stat…though not specifically mentioned in the book. So, in the first 6 months, U.S. Cellular offers intense on-boarding experiences including a general orientation, servant leadership and ethics training, and more.

Also, in the first six months all new leaders must attend the one week Leadership Development Workshop (LDW). Most attendees have found this leadership boot-camp transformational in helping them understand why the Dynamic Organization is so critical to the company’s success. Rooney places high importance on this workshop, and people who don’t take it seriously often go packing, and the word spread fast on this point.

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