Great Place to Work -
May 16, 2012
Leadership Development at the Best Companies to Work For
A couple of weeks ago we convened our Best Companies Executive Strategy Network(ESN) at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York City. The ESN is a group of leaders from the Best Companies to Work For who meet twice a year to discuss steps their organizations are taking to keep people and culture at the top of the priority list, swap best practices, and learn from other high-trust companies.
About 60 participants from SAS, American Express, CarMax, Baptist Health South Florida, Aeropostale, Teach for America, Vanguard, Alston & Bird, Atlantic Health, Darden Restaurants, Morningstar, Goldman Sachs and quite a few others joined to discuss and learn from one another about leadership development.
If you want to manage leadership development like a best company, here are a few questions to focus on:
PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the “big four” accounting firms and a perennial on the 100 Best list (#48 this year), hosted the event, providing generous insight into the firm’s many strengths in developing leaders at all stages of their careers, as well as time with many of PwC’s top leaders.
We discussed concepts from “The Trustworthy Leader,” our latest book on leadership from Amy Lyman, co-founder of Great Place to Work. Attendees (many of whose organizations were featured in the book) shared best practices related to leadership themes we see commonly at best companies: honor, inclusion, followership, sharing information, developing others and balancing uncertainty/opportunities.
We were also joined by partners from Action Learning Associates, who led a few experiential educational exercises that spurred some good discussion. In one, participants were blindfolded and had to describe and sort very uncommon shapes. Takeaways for the group: good leadership requires careful listening; leaders consciously or unconsciously model the behavior they later see show up in group culture; learning and course-correcting is at least as important as an initially good strategy.
A few PwC best people practices:
And a couple of practices from other member companies:
All in all, a thought-provoking, stimulating chance to interact with and learn from some of the Best Companies to Work for!
If your company has been named to one of our lists in the past 5 years, we’d love to welcome you to our next meeting, November 7-8, 2012, hosted by NetApp in Silicon Valley, CA, with the topic of Utilizing Social Media to Build and Sustain Trust. To learn more about this unique networking opportunity, please visit the Executive Strategy Network homepage, or contact Jessica Rohman at
Lindsay Nelson, MSOD is a Consultant for Great Place to Work®. Lindsay brings a systems-based philosophy of consulting, helping organizations to align workplace culture with strategy and business purpose to enable positive change.