The baby boom generation has begun to retire in droves. Has your business been affected by it yet? Senior managers, senior executives, and workers have begun exiting the workforce. With them, they take the experience and practical knowledge that has built and sustained some of our county's most successful companies.
The impact of this exodus is still largely unknown, because so many benefits of good management are intangible. But what we do know is that the composition of senior staff is on the verge of significant change. The challenge facing companies today is how to most effectively prepare the next generation of leaders to continue the successful growth of tomorrow's corporations.
One of the most significant and empowering tools available to face this challenge is executive mentoring. Unlike traditional mentoring programs that focus on having senior staff work with junior staff to familiarize them with the company culture, political structure and hierarchy, executive mentoring is a formal program that facilitates the transfer of knowledge, practical experience and grass roots know-how from senior- level executives to mid-level career professionals.
The primary goal of executive mentoring is to prepare mid-level managers and executives to move successfully into senior-level positions. Although many mid-level professionals believe that they already possess the knowledge to advance to a senior level, there is a vast difference between the perspectives and approaches of the different levels. Mid-level professionals focus primarily on effective problem solving for the people they manage, and the profitability of the divisions they run. Senior executives focus on the evolution of the company, ensuring enterprise-wide profitability, and strategies for gaining or retaining competitive advantage within their market space.
While mid-level professionals contribute to all of these goals, they rarely possess the perspective to develop the high-level planning that will ultimately drive the company to attain these goals. A formal, well-developed executive mentoring program provides mid-level executives with insights into the nuances of strategic planning, teaches them to see the big picture by bringing it into focus for them, and provides expert counsel as they prepare themselves for challenges of ever-increasing magnitude.
Remember, executive mentoring is one of the most powerful and cost effective strategies in preparing your future leaders for the challenges of tomorrow. Don't let the value of your experienced senior managers leave with them!
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