Planning for 2013

Ideas for Developing Leaders

As the third quarter of 2012 comes to an end and you plan your company’s budget for next year, consider how you can be a better manager in 2013. Consider how you can inspire and build your team to be strong leaders using concepts and best people practices compiled from Best Companies.  Here’s a sample of what Best companies do:

Provide managers with performance feedback.  Best Companies conduct 360° performance evaluations for managers, collecting feedback from a manager’s supervisor, peers, and direct reports, then use that feedback to create individual development plans for managers.  

Devon Energy, #28 on the FORTUNE 100 Best list, has a customized 360 based on the company’s specific leadership attributes designed to measure how a manager’s leadership behaviors are being viewed by those who work closely with them.

Robert W Baird, #21 on the FORTUNE 100 Best list, conducts their 360 mid-year, rather than end-of-year, to provide managers with additional time to make change based on the results.

Offer peer coaching for managers.  Intuitive Research and Technology Corporation, #2 on the 2012 Best Small & Medium Workplaces list, brings together new managers with more seasoned managers during “Peers Lunch”. Experienced managers provide pointers and coaching to new managers and offer up "what I wish someone had told me when I was a new manager,” all in a relaxed and collegial setting.

Grow managers’ business skills.   At Qualcomm, a 14-time FORTUNE 100 Best Companies winner, many of the managers are engineers by training, not MBAs. To round out their managerial skills, the company instituted a business acumen program specifically for engineers. University-developed lectures and classroom experiences address fundamental topic areas found in most MBA courses, and a particular focus is given to Qualcomm's business model.

Make leadership development courses available to managers. There are many quality programs out there to consider.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Great Place to Work’s Leadership Development Program, which builds on developing managers using principles we’ve learned from the Best Companies, just like the ones mentioned above. We have public workshops available for professional development opportunities, or to evaluate the program for adoption as part of your company’s leadership development program curricula.

Whatever your budget or organizational culture, I encourage you to think about developing your organization’s leaders in 2013.

For more information on Great Place to Work’s Leadership Development Program, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 415-503-1234 ext. 380.  

Marisa Stoltzfus is a Consultant and the Learning and Development Specialist with Great Place to Work®.