Paying It Forward Pays Back for Business Leaders!

Paying It Forward Pays Back for Business Leaders!

What makes a leader effective? Sound decision-making, knowing how to manage people, taking charge, and inspiring others to achieve goals are a few of the qualities. But helping others develop their full potential is also an integral part of successful leadership. According to a new Catalyst report, it pays off not only for emerging talent but for those who invest time in cultivating them. And more women than men, it turns out, are helping others move up the ladder. High-potential talent who were themselves mentored, coached, or sponsored to advance in their careers are more likely to “pay it forward” by developing the next generation of leaders, according to Leaders Pay It Forward, the latest report in Catalyst’s series that examines the career advancement of high-potentials throughout the world.

Women, the report finds, are even more likely than men to develop other talent. Sixty-five percent of women who received career development support are now developing new talent, compared to 56 percent of men, and 73 percent of the women developing new talent are developing women, compared to only 30 percent of men.

Overall, the report finds that high-potentials who are paying it forward today recognize that others once took a risk on them and gave them their chance—and now it’s their turn. The men and women who are more likely to be developing others:

• Have themselves received developmental support (59%) vs. those who have not received this type of support (47%).
• Are in senior executive/CEO level positions (64%) vs. those at non-managerial levels (30%).
• Are more proactive when it comes to their own career advancement (63%) vs. those who are relatively inactive (42%) with regard to their own career advancement.

The report poses key questions for companies to consider. For instance: How is your organization creating a culture of talent development? What will motivate your talent to “pay it forward” to the next generation of leaders? How can more men be encouraged to develop women at their organizations? How can organizations disarm stigmas about spending time with the opposite sex at work?

Extract from Catalyst who conducted an online survey of alumni who graduated between 1996 and 2007 from MBA programs at 26 leading business schools across the globe.

How is your organization creating a culture of talent development?

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