How to get high-potential employees interested in leadership development

Many companies offer leadership development programs to high-potential employees in an effort to cultivate a new class of organizational leaders, though these programs do not always receive much interest, according to the Harvard Business Review.

In a study led by professors at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, 530 working U.S. adults were presented with two descriptions of leadership courses. One emphasized the course's ability to help students become leaders who makes effective decisions, while the other claims the program will help  with learning leadership skills, such as effective decision-making.

Participants felt the course focusing on becoming a leader would be more difficult than the one focused on leadership skills, and demonstrated less interest in signing up for it. The concept of becoming a leader is vague, which can be discouraging because it is unclear how this goal can be achieved. On the other hand, the focus on tangible leadership skills is motivating because it is reasonable.

This study demonstrates that how organizations frame their development programs is vital to the interest  those programs can generate.

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