A new model of leadership is emerging; leaders who are empowered not by age, experience or position, but more by their “followership” – their ability to set an example and empower others and in doing so drive change, alignment, and inspiration. Today, high-performing companies promote young leaders at an accelerated rate and enable them to learn on the job. These organisations have recognised leadership as being EXPLORING THE MYTH OF GRADUATE Danny Tuckwood ‘systemic’ rather than as a series of formalised programs.

In today’s rapidly changing environment, there is an imperative to actively build leaders through “leadership experiences” – letting them lead (making and recognising mistakes along the way) sooner. Whilst tenure, experience, and wisdom are always important, companies now need to rapidly promote Millennials (and those that come after) to help build their skills whilst understanding that the person may not stay with the organisation for the long term.

This changing dynamic creates an additional challenge which most organisations are not yet ready for: teaching seniors (and even senior leaders) to work for and with more junior executives. This means a change in the nature of performance management – from an annual or bi-annual formality to an ‘in-the-moment’ series of conversations. In turn, this means inculcating coaching and mentoring practices which are hard wired into the organisational culture, behaviours, reward structures and development programs.

To succeed with graduates in their Brave New World requires a continuous set of strategies, development programs, rewards, coaching programs, assessments, competency, models and behaviours that can build leaders at all hierarchical levels. It also requires a change in thinking for those who are tasked with nurturing this talent to someone who can look at behavioural economics, neuroscience, organizational network analysis, analytics and the power of teams and can then move forward with a more agile, integrated, culture-driven approach that can also cater for individual career mobility needs.


Assessed: 3 August 2019

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