I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: we – the 21st-century workforce – are still failing to intentionally develop the leadership skills that are absolutely essential to organizational growth and success. All the while facing a time of disruption and evolution that is completely foreign to today’s workforce.

Let me break it down for you.

In today’s 21st-century workforce, we are quickly approaching a disruptive shift in demographics. Young, high-potential employees – most likely Millennials since this cohort currently occupies 50% of the American workforce – are moving into first-time leadership opportunities without being adequately prepared while baby boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day.

Read that sentence again.

There is a gap of roughly 30 million people in the 21st-century workforce on the very near horizon. And the folks cleaning out their desks and handing over their keys are the ones who are currently making the executive-level decisions. They are the ones that house all of the institutional capital.

Herein lies the question: How do you replace this significant gap with folks who will able to handle all of the responsibility and experience that is walking out that door? The answer: you can’t! You can’t unless you are laser focused on intentionally developing future decision makers.

Now, I am not saying that what some companies are currently doing is not helping at all. People are beginning to understand the problem at hand. In today’s workforce, some organizations are providing mentorship to young leaders. The mentors are typically higher-ups in the company and once held their position. The problem with the guidance these high-pos are receiving is that it’s what worked 20 years ago. It worked for a workforce that no longer exists!

An even bigger issue that tends to get lost in translation: telling someone what to do in leadership situations and not truly preparing them to be able to adapt and think strategically as the world changes creates a vicious cycle of dependency and insecurity. This is NOT development.

We don’t have time to waste in this ever-changing landscape. Organizations need good teams. And good teams need to be led. The organizations that cultivate great leadership intentionally are the ones that will succeed.

The only way to ensure your employees’ growth as leaders is to get to work. Not sure where to start? Our Next Leader Now program is the answer! Cohorts are launching nationwide weekly and high-potential employees are transforming into next generation leaders throughout the 15-month, customized program. Is your up-and-coming talent next to join us?