When an executive puts together their personal development plan, they often assess personal gaps and prioritize what they think they need to work on. Most often, what they work on is targeted for the most immediate impact. In other words, “What can help me most…right now?” These will be noticeable changes that will help you become a better leader.
Transitioning key talent from one company to another is challenging, and the results are much poorer than you’d expect. Depending upon what research you look at, failure rates of new executives can average as high as 40 to 50%. Wow! Think about the costs of that—both in terms of hard costs and soft costs! Indeed these failures are a non-trivial amount of money. But the strategic impact is much greater as the organization struggles to recover from a key hire that didn’t work out.
Many senior leaders across different businesses have shared with me that their executives and managers aren’t strategic enough. In their words, “they don’t get the strategy and are not aligned with what we’re trying to do.” This sometimes causes leaders to be conflicted about how much to include their executives in strategic discussions. On the one hand, they need to engage executives and managers at all levels in executing the strategy. On the other hand, if they don’t understand the strategy, they’ll put an operational spin on it and, in their words, “drive it in the ditch.” This leads to frustration as strategic execution can be impeded by a lack of strategic thinking skills across the organization.