This post is a series of questions to consider during the up-front definition phase of an enterprise initiative for leadership development program. Specifically to gain senior leadership buy-in for the LDP.

Senior Leadership Buy-In

Because leadership development programs require long cycle times and significant resources and personal involvement by senior organizational leaders, success is more likely when you gain their buy-in.

Involve the Board of Directors

  • To what degree does the board of directors see leadership development as a component of their charter?
  • How can you best engage the board of directors to provide direction on leadership and succession planning?

Overcoming Organizational Boundaries

To help communicate the shared responsibility of senior leaders for a successful leadership development program, consider the following questions:

  • How best can you communicate that leadership development is a shared responsibility across functional boundaries of senior leaders?
  • How can you persuade each executive that they should not have complete ownership of the talent in their functional area for leadership development to work across the organization?
  • How open are senior leaders to moving LDP candidates sideways or even to lose the talent to another part of the organization for the greater good of the business?
  • How can you facilitate increased collaboration and connections across the organization?

Allocate Sufficient Resources

To help articulate the resources necessary for a leadership development program, consider the following questions:

  • What are the estimated costs?
  • What do benchmark organizations spend on LDPs as a percentage of revenues or profits?
  • What is the estimated duration (in months and years) to see business results?
  • What is the estimated personal participation of senior leaders as examples modeling leadership?


To help articulate the benefits of a leadership development program, consider the following questions:

  • How can improved leadership help increase company profitability?
  • How can improved leadership help achieve organizational goals?
  • How can improved leadership help retention rates? Studies of turnover data show that people leave because of their immediate leader more than most other reasons.
  • How can improved leadership help inclusive diversity goals for female leaders and minority leaders in the organization?
  • How can improved leadership help employee engagement?
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KW Lanham



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