6 lessons for promoting from within in business

On successful chairmanships:

“The chairman of one of my companies was selected for being the next person of great importance. The No. 1 question I was asked is, ‘He’s this high level executive at a national bank, how can he have such a big responsibility?'”

Why: “In part, he used the answer to get ahead of the process. He had been in the position before. But also the frustration of running a business in a time when the clients have shrunk, the margins are getting thinner and thinner. There is a strong need to make sense of all this and to help things move forward.”

On leadership preparation:

“As our educational system is under continual attack, we need people who can think and act strategically about what education systems and business systems we have to structure in terms of allocating people’s time, money and commitment.”

“We do not have schools that people should go to. We have a lot of education, but it seems to be entirely at the discretion of our leaders. It’s a lot about perception. They should see what those institutions are doing that’s relevant to their business and therefore help them create a system that benefits them too.”

“In terms of my role, I don’t do a lot to develop habits, because that would make me a jack-of-all-trades. Instead, I spend time giving feedback to people through the four L’s — leadership, leadership development, strategy and innovation.”

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