When millennials first entered the global workforce, the spotlight in business media was often on the resulting generational divide, with a steady stream of advice directed at long-suffering senior leaders on how to better manage this wayward age demographic.
Fast-forward to 2018 and the tide has turned: with years of experience under their belts, millennials now make up the largest generational group in the U.S. labor market. Firms worldwide have begun passing their leadership batons to millennial managers, whose technological savvy uniquely positions them to thrive in today’s age of digital transformation.
Not all is rosy, however. As these mid-level managers transition into senior leadership roles, they face a series of challenges that were unseen in previous generations. As a 2015 Harvard Business Review article points out, many mid-tier directors will routinely lead teams with members who are older than they are. And while their technical expertise is a clear advantage, it is a not a substitute for core leadership essentials grounded on real-world experience, solid self-awareness and strong relationship-building skills.
“As markets become increasingly global and complex, organizations require managers with a holistic perspective of management and a humanistic approach to leadership,” explains John Almandoz, a professor of IESE’s Department of Managing People of Organizations.
“What we observe in many global firms are mid-level managers who possess deep expertise in their functional areas, yet lack an integrated view of the business and a firm grasp of its interlocking areas. As their careers progress, these managers also need to be adept at aligning and developing their teams.”
IESE designed the Driving Leadership Potential (DLP) program to address these explicit needs. As a multidimensional, blended learning experience, the DLP offers enterprising professionals a forum to cultivate mission-critical management competencies, as well as reflect on their unique priorities moving forward.
The DLP’s flexible structure interweaves online and face-to-face modules to accommodate participants’ life and work commitments. Over the span of six months, they complete six “discover, discuss and do” milestones including strategic thinking, digital mindset, entrepreneurship, communication and leadership, among others. In parallel, they embark on a personalized leadership growth journey that merges one-on-one coaching, assessment diagnostics and peer-mentoring sessions. They leave the program with heightened sense of self-awareness and greater clarity on their strengths and areas for growth.
“The program curriculum piqued my interest right away and the flexible learning format sealed the deal,” says Candace Renfrow, a global talent director at Merck and DLP participant. “We’re all extremely busy at this stage in our careers, but the DLP’s combination of self-paced remote learning and on-campus sessions made it totally manageable.”
The Driving Leadership Potential Program is delivered on IESE’s New York campus in midtown Manhattan. The next edition will launch in May 2019.