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Strong Leaders at all levels within an organization are a requisite for business success. Yet the leadership pipeline –internal architecture for growing leaders is often broken or
nonexistent. This updated edition of the bestselling book has been revised to help address the challenges of today’s business environment. Anchored in experience based case studies, this
remarkable book synchronizes a proven model for planning leadership succession and development for corporate organizations. The Second edition is an improvement based on
learning and review of the authors who have drawn their work at more than one hundred international companies over a period of ten years since the first edition of the book with the same title was published. The book under review is addressed to the leading corporate organizations, where the succession path of leaders/ chief executives is being formulated & executed on a continuous basis to perpetuate the organization and make it strong and robust while facing trials and tribulations of corporate growth and success.
Some Impressionistic Take away from the Book
Dr.Ram Charan, Stephen J.Drotter, J.Noel
About the Authors
Ram Charan is a highly sought after business advisor and speaker famous
among senior executives for his uncanny ability to solve their toughest business
problems. For more than thirty-five years, Dr. Charan has worked behind the
scenes with top executives at some of the world's most successful companies,
including GE, Verizon, Novartis, Dupont, Thomson Corporation, Honeywell, KLM,
Bank of America, and MeadWestvaco. He has shared his insights with many
others through teaching and writing. He earned an engineering degree in India
and soon after took a job in Australia and then in Hawaii. He earned MBA and
doctorate degrees from Harvard Business School, where he graduated with high
distinction and was a Baker Scholar. After receiving his doctorate degree, he
served on the Harvard Business School faculty.
Stephen Drotter is the Chief Executive of M/s Drotter Human Resources, an
executive succession planning, leadership performance and organization
company design company serving a large company base. He has guided a
number of leading companies all over the world in a period of four decades.
Jim Noel is a leading consultant who has honed his skills from being in
academics at the George Washington University, Washington D.C.
Strong Leaders at all levels within an organization are a requisite for
business success. Yet the leadership pipeline –internal architecture for
growing leaders is often broken or nonexistent.
This updated edition of the bestselling book has been revised to help
address the challenges of today’s business environment. Anchored in
experience based case studies, this remarkable book synchronizes a
proven model for planning leadership succession and development for
The Second edition is an improvement based on learning and review
of the authors who have drawn their work at more than one hundred
international companies over a period of ten years since the first
edition of the book with the same title was published.
The book under review is addressed to the leading corporate
organizations, where the succession path of leaders/ chief executives
is being formulated and executed on a continuous basis to perpetuate
the organization and make it strong and robust while facing trials and
tribulations of corporate growth and success..
How to use a proven model for identifying future leaders, assessing
their competence, planning their development and measuring the
How to integrate your company’s leadership development process
with a succession planning process to constantly renew leaders at all
How to use diagnostics to identify problems and possibilities in your
Ways to improve performance by clarifying roles and creating
How to challenge traditional notions of leadership to use the
Leadership Pipeline approach effectively.
Learning’s from the Book
This is an era in which the demand for leadership greatly exceeds the
supply. Signs of this imbalance are everywhere.
Executive search firms are flourishing because of the demand for leadership
talent. Just about every major organization is attempting to hire “stars,”
offering enormous compensation to entice the best and the brightest.
These overly aggressive, sometimes desperate attempts to recruit outsiders
suggest that the leadership pipeline is inadequate. Internal training,
mentoring and other developmental programs aren’t keeping the pipeline full,
making it necessary to look outside.
Everyone is fighting over a relatively small group of stars who, even when
successfully recruited, tend to willingly move from company to company.
What’s needed is an approach that will allow organizations to keep their own
leadership pipelines full and flowing.
This is easier said than done because the requirements of leadership have
changed so dramatically, and most development models are ill-suited for
these changing requirements.
However, the following approach that takes into account the different
requirements at distinct leadership levels is viable
Increasing number of Leaders are needed at more level of
the Organization , they need to be developed from within
the company rather than lateral recruitment from outside.
People can reinvent themselves by accumulating skills &
Right People with the
Right Stuff in the
Right places at the
This Chapter provides an overview of the “Six leadership passages
“model with the discussion of the unique needs and varied skill
requirements of the star performer vis a vis conventional performers
of each passage with an understanding of the challenges faced by the
The knowledge about each passage helps reveal “hidden “ leadership
problems at every organizational layer and in establishing appropriate
requirements of six leadership levels which could facilitate the
succession planning exercises in the organizations.
A unique organizational architecture called ‘leadership passage ‘has
been developed by the authors to demonstrate the usefulness in
evolving a leadership powered organization that is sustained against
all kinds of odds and challenges within and outside the organization
over a number of years.
Though the model has been framed primarily to address the large
scale enterprises, the model can be fitted to work for the requirements
of small businesses as well.
6 Leadership Passages
Each passage represents a major change in job requirements that translates to new
skill requirements, new time horizons and applications, and new work values.
Transition of Leaderships
An Integrated Approach to Building Leadership Pipeline
This Chapter lucidly brought out the first passage ‘from
managing self to managing others ‘is lucidly. The growth of
the star performer/leader to the other first line managers in
terms of skills, time application and work values is made
explicit. In articulating the leadership goals, it is important to
go beyond the listed goals and requisite skills.
The rising power and expectations of individual contributors,
achievement levels of first time Managers in terms of skills,
time application and work values are vividly portrayed.
To unclog the pipe line problems, the tactics of preparations,
monitoring and intervention are applied in the context of the
well known “General Electric Leadership Matrix “.It identifies
the responsibilities for training the first line managers with
Managers of managers to be a star performer.
Managing self is the position where we contribute to an
organizations success by doing the assigned work in the
given time frames in ways that meet the objectives.
The move is often more troublesome than anticipated.
The person often feels reluctant to let go of activities that
made them successful.
Skills now required are those of helping others to perform
Others are often not willing to let the person make the
change in role and encourage them.
Passage 1- Managing Self to Managing Others
Navigating the Transition
Organizations need to make sure that first-time Managers
understand what is required of them.
Need to focus on Communication skill, Communicate effectively
with their teams.
Written communication –Clarity & Clearly.
Making time to discuss with the team on concerns.
Know how to plan Short & long term goals, Define work
objectives, Managing differences.
Focus on team members needs
Coaching new managers to practice management by walking
Stay in touch with people.
Encourage the team to speak their mind.
How to delegate effectively
They are responsible for other people.
This Chapter identifies the signs of misplaced managers of
managers and further develops the third passage’ Managing
The symptoms of a misplaced manager of managers are
diagnosed along with a discussion on the essential skills that
a manager should employ to upgrade the leadership
passage and the organization.
It emphasizes on the accountability of first line managers and
insists upon the efficient use of resources which would
enhance organizational effectiveness.
It places emphasis on the appropriate measures for reaching
the effectiveness levels which are important for the growth of
the organization. A role model of a Manager of managers is
developed in the process..
In this passage, managers are moving to pure managing in
their work rather than a mix, therefore people need to divest
themselves of individual tasks.
Often frequently ignored as a passage by companies.
Skills required include selecting people for passage one,
assigning managerial and leadership work to them.
Many people who get in this position have skipped passage
one. This can ‘clog up’ the pipeline.
Coaching support is very important for people in passage
Passage 2- Managing Others to Managing Managers
Navigating the Transition
First, new managers at this level need to know how to hold level
one managers accountable. This might include becoming a coach
or mentor to help them develop, and providing appropriate
training. Managers in level two are also responsible for training the
managers in level one, so make sure that they're aware of
available training resources, and ensure that they know how to
develop effective training sessions.
At level one, new managers might know how to get people to work
together to accomplish a goal. But, at level two, managers must
have the knowledge and skills needed to build an effective team.
Finally, these managers need to know how to allocate resources
to the people and teams below them. These resources could be
money, technology, time, or support staff, and they need to know
how to budget effectively. They must know how to identify teams
or units that are wasting resources, as well as knowing where to
apply additional resources to improve performance.
From Managing Managers to Functional
This Chapter vividly portrays the fourth passage of Functional
Manager and elaborates the necessity of having functional
maturity for this executive.
It identifies the dysfunctional signs created by some executives
who are not capable of managing themselves and other managers
It insists upon emotional maturity as a prime requirement for the
executive of this level.
The common flaws of new era functional managers are described
and stresses on developing a strategic mind set and a holistic
approach towards the organizational development for the manager
of this layer.
It warns to the organizations about the dysfunctional symptoms
that would affect the organization and emphasizes on developing
a mature strategic manager is vital for organizational growth.
This passage is much tougher transition than other two,
because it requires an increase in Managerial maturity.
Communicating with the individual contributors can present a
It can involve leadership in areas that are out of their technical
Often the direct reports to this level are from different functional
areas and therefore have to become skilled at a wide variety of
They need to look at sustainable competitive advantage rather
than an immediate but short term gain.
Passage 3- Managing Managers to Functional Managers
Navigating the Transition
Functional Managers must learn how to think Strategically &
Manage with the entire department, or function , in mind.
Think over the long-term- understand organizations long-term
goals, their functional strategy aligns with these aims.
Coach new functional managers today up to date on trends, so
that they can take advantage of new advances. Aware of
technology and trends , adjust their strategy to enhance
contribution towards competitive advantage.
Good listeners- Active listening skills , Skills towards reading body
Ability avoid misinterpretations and spot untruths. 23
From Functional Managers to Business
This Chapter - tremendous sense of ownership in brought in
while discussing the fifth passage of Business Manager. The
Value shift is to be built in valuing one’s own function to
valuing all functions appropriately for the executive while
managing complexities and learning to value all functions
within the business unit.
A significant technique ‘the Alignment Triangle’ has been
developed by the authors for evaluating the competencies
and building up the competitive advantage and strategic
direction for the business unit.
It addresses the challenges of E-Commerce business and
warns about the signs of leadership transition troubles. It
stresses upon the custodianship of the organizational culture
for the executives of this layer.
Often the most satisfying and the most challenging passage of
a career. Business managers usually have much more
It requires a shift in thinking and looking at decisions
functionally (can we do this?) to a profit perspective (will it make
money if we do this?)
There are more new and unfamiliar responsibilities here than at
There is a skill need to work effectively with a wider variety of
Finding a balance between future goals and present needs
Passage 4- Functional Manager to Business Manager
Navigating the Transition
New Business Managers have to adjust their thinking to focus on
future growth in all areas of the organization. They need to
understand each function of the organization and know how these
functions interrelate. Without this understanding , business
managers will likely only focus on one or two functions, which
could damage the organization’s growth.
Encourage new business managers to get to know their functional
managers well – Talking to them , taking them for important trips.
Need to know the organization’s core business processes and
understanding where the Profit lies within these processes.
Without this knowledge, business managers can make costly
Time Management skills. Maangers who lacks these skills won’t
invest enough time on key projects or with key people, so make
sure that this group knows how to focus on important, not just
This Chapter describes in the form of succeeding indirectly,
developing the business managers and connecting the
business unit to the bigger corporation the requirements of a
Group Manager who manages the business managers are
The Group Managers must exercise restraint in managing
the business in the same way he was doing when he was a
business manager in terms of business strategies, pricing,
consolidation exercises etc.
It insists on learning the measuring skills of evaluating
multiple performance areas within an organization to
enhance the overall effectiveness of an enterprise.
This is the transition from running one business to running multiple
First, group managers must become proficient at evaluating strategy
for capital allocation and deployment purposes.
Group managers need to know who among the function managers is
ready to become business managers.
The third skill set has to do with portfolio strategy.
This is quite different from business strategy and demands a
Group managers must become astute about assessing whether they
have the right core capabilities to win.
Passage 5- Business Manager to Group Manager
Navigating the Transition
Group Managers need the ability to value other’s success, and they
must be humble enough to help others succeed. They need to learn
how critique the business managers’ strategy formulation, and provide
Group Managers should know how to create the right mix of
investments in their businesses to help the organization succeed.
Resource allocation, market prediction and segmentation and global
business etiquette are all important skills.
Need to stay on top of all the business to ensure that they are obeying
the law, sticking to corporate policy, acting in a way that’s consistent
with corporate strategy, enhancing the global brand, and making a
Must know how to maintain good relationship with businesses, even if
they are not getting the funding they want.
Analytical skills in order to balance what is good for their businesses,
versus what is good for the organization.
This Chapter draws a transition to Enterprise Manager and Chief
Executive officer (CEO) .The CEO has to meet several challenges
while developing himself along with other group managers within
These challenges are identified as delivering consistent results ,
setting enterprise direction, shaping soft side of the enterprise
,maintaining the edge in execution and managing the broader
Global context of the enterprise .
The authors also insist that a star performer should be learning the
core competencies of the business along with the functional
diversity to reach the position and the experience for the CEO.
Thus the authors warn the organizations not to skip the levels of
CEO development while selecting a CEO for the enterprise. The
authors caution the organizations that appointing the external
consultant as CEO who struggles and fail an organization being a
cultural misfit, rather than being a success.
These are the CEOs and Presidents of the companies. The
transition during the sixth passage is much more focused on
values than skills.
Enterprise leaders need to come to terms with the fact that
their performance as a CEO will be based on three or four
high-leverage decisions annually.
There's a subtle but fundamental shift in responsibility from
strategic to visionary thinking and from an operations to a
Enterprise leaders must let go of the pieces that is, the
individual products and customers-and focus on the whole.
This is the only leadership position in the organization where
inspiring the entire employee population through a variety of
communication tools is essential.
Passage 6- Group Manager to Enterprise Manager
Navigating the Transition
Future CEOs need to understand that once they ascend to
this level, they are responsible for a number of different
stakeholders groups & organization, such as Board, financial
analysts, investors, partners, workforce, direct reports & local
communities. Failing any of these groups means loss of
Make good & right decisions under an incredible amount of
pressure. Make sure that potential leaders are familiar with a
wide range of decision making techniques, and know how to
think on their feet.
Last, risk taking is a given at the level, but future CEOs need
the courage to take calculated risks, even when they face
opposition from others. This requires character, integrity,
decisiveness and inner strength.
This Chapter identifies the leadership pipeline problems and
possibilities and develops early warning signals having
elaborated all the passages as given above and the authors
move on to prepare diagnostic tools.
An individual perspective as well as group perspective is
vividly illustrated in furthering the thoughts and thus the
authors establish the merits of the Pipeline model.
With a view to strengthen the enterprise growth, many
organizations commit the mistake of the ‘high potential
‘performers who are given quick promotions and allowed to
zoom through or bypass crucial leadership experiences and
the authors alert the organizations not to do this practice.
Just about every organization has people working at the wrong leadership
levels. The problem can occur at any of the six levels, but it’s most common
among first line managers who are spending most of their time doing
individual contributor work, business managers who are doing functional
work and group executives who are focusing on business manager work.
The following steps will help you assess an individual quickly and
Identify the individual’s behaviors and work production through observing
and talking to him. Look at his calendar to determine how he’s spending his
time. Find out what work he’s producing and the major focus of his/ her
Discover his impact on others — direct reports, both past and present, as
well as people in other units. Has he developed direct reports effectively for
their current leadership levels?
Overlay this information on the Pipeline model. Analyze how an individual’s
actions and attitudes align or misalign with a given level’s skills, time
applications and values.
Diagnostics-Identifying Pipeline Problems & Possibilities
Determine the level at which someone is actually working versus
the level at which he should be working.
When you do so, be specific in identifying the gaps between his
operating level and his assigned level.
Create a development plan that is value-focused. Keep in mind
that if people learn the right values, the right time applications and
skills usually follow
Many times, the Pipeline diagnostic is used for different groups
within an organization. Business teams can use it to figure out
whether they’re working at the proper level, given their assignment
The following steps will help groups use the Pipeline diagnostic
Conduct individual assessments of leaders who are part of the
group being assessed.
Diagnostics-Identifying Pipeline Problems & Possibilities
Look at the individual assessments cumulatively and determine
whether the skills, time applications and work values match what
is appropriate for the levelacross the group.
If they’re not appropriate, what are the specific gaps? Spell out
what the misalignment consists of.
If you’re looking at the entire pipeline, analyze each level’s
strengths and weaknesses. Where is the pipeline clogged? Can
you pinpoint a particular level or levels where appropriate
leadership is lacking?
Diagnostics-Identifying Pipeline Problems & Possibilities
This Chapter emphasis on role clarity and arriving at
performance standards is discussed in this chapter.
The essential measures which define the standards for
judging performance levels are elaborated.
A novel tool of four circles in the form of full performance, not
yet full performance, exceptional performance and
inappropriate performance are portrayed in the chapter to
develop dynamic strategies for the growth of the
The Leadership Pipeline provides a fast and effective way to
establish role clarity. By comparing what a leader does
versus what is required at a given leadership level, as well as
what his boss and subordinates do versus the model, you
can sharpen role clarity. Because most development occurs
on the job, it’s important to establish the right role
requirements so a leader understands them and develops in
the right direction.
Role clarity can be achieved by using the Pipeline model to
identify the leadership level at which a given job is located;
communicating to managers what this level is and the skills,
time applications and work values demanded by this level;
and making everyone up and down the pipeline aware of the
potential gaps and overlaps between “adjacent” levels and
taking action to correct the gaps and overlaps.
Performance Improvement – Role Clarity
Certain leadership development strategies have proven to be
very effective for companies attempting to improve the flow in
their leadership pipeline. Here are four:
Strategy 1: Start with the boss and not the subordinate.
Bosses must ask themselves what they’re doing (or not
doing) that’s impeding leadership development and
performance of their subordinates.
Strategy 2. Search for evidence of an appropriate values
The evidence of a values shift includes people willing to
see their roles differently. They must be willing to
reallocate their time, change the way they attack
problems or change which aspect of the problem they
tackle personally, and accept new skill building
Strategies for getting to Full Performance
Strategy 3. Use Action Learning as a primary vehicle for
Action Learning involves setting up teams of leaders who
are all on the same leadership level and assigning them a
highly challenging task related to a significant business
objective. These are stretch assignments that demand
that participants develop new skills, time applications and
values in order to complete the assignments successfully.
Strategy 4. Address inappropriate performance
Leadership pipelines clog when performance gaps are
allowed to exist for lengthy periods.
Strategies for getting to Full Performance
This Chapter identifies the clear standards to assess potentials
for the executives in the form of turn potential, growth potential,
mastery potential who are needed at for different stages of
changes in the organization.
The authors work towards evolving a definition of succession
planning in this chapter.
A novel five step plan to develop succession plan with the use
of the Pipeline model is detailed.
While discussing the succession planning, the authors develop
useful tools of Potential performance matrix, sustained
performance levels using the above mentioned leadership
The following five-step plan will greatly facilitate your succession planning with
Leadership Pipeline goals in mind:
Tailor the Leadership Pipeline model to fit your organization’s
Add leadership levels if that better reflects how your company is set up.
Translate standards for performance & potential into your own
Clear, detailed, unambiguous standards will greatly enhance both your
succession and development planning.
Document and communicate these standards throughout the
When everyone is aware of the standards for judging potential and
performance, they know what they have to do to move up a level and
be qualified for a given leadership position.
Evaluate succession candidates through a combined potential-
This is a useful tool for gaining snapshots of a leadership layer.
Review the plans and progress of the entire pipeline frequently
Ideally, your organization will have at least one annual succession
meeting that will focus on this performance-potential evaluation,
and you’ll also schedule quarterly reviews and monthly action
In addition, the CEO and his or her direct reports should be privy to
the performance ratings for the entire leadership pipeline. Each
leadership level should be looking at the ratings for at least two
levels beneath them.
Creating this two-level-down accountability and using the definitions
and standards will greatly increase the odds of selecting the right
people for key leadership positions and developing them properly.
What is more important, it will help organizations achieve their
ultimate goal of getting the right people in the right jobs with the
right preparation while producing targeted results now and in the
This Chapter moves on to identify potential pipeline failures
and takes steps to prevent the institutional failures.
While discussing the institutional failures, a framework for
leadership, a language for discussing problems and
standards for judging performance of executives are
elaborated by the authors.
In company after company, people who were counted on to
assume key leadership positions don’t live up to expectations.
Some fail in first-time manager positions and some as CEOs.
Although there are many reasons for failure and some can’t
be completely avoided (such as abrupt changes in consumer
preference), a significant percentage of them can be
prevented or dealt with effectively.
Failure is something that needs to be addressed as part of
this process. Here are the four most common causes of
individual failure: selecting the wrong person, leaving poor
performers in the job too long, not listening to or seeking
feedback and defining jobs poorly.
Identifying Potential Pipeline Failures
Three key ingredients can prevent institutional failure:
A framework for leadership.
The Leadership Pipeline model provides companies with a
leadership framework. At the very least, it defines requirements by
levels and makes clear distinctions between what is required from
one level to the next.
Language for discussing problems.
Without appropriate language, organizations lack precision for
diagnostics and solutions.
With the language of the Pipeline, people can talk about their
leadership requirements by using the same categories (skills, time
applications and work values) but define them according to their
particular leadership positions.
Standards for judging performance.
Performance standards help leaders set goals and create true
measures on which their performance is judged.
How to Prevent Institutional Failure
This Chapter clarifies the needs and problems of Group
functional managers who form an important element in the
It identifies the signs which would help finding out whether a
Group Functional Manager is performing or not .It adds the
distinctive skill requirements to the cerebral aspects of their
jobs as part of the functional strategies of these executives.
The signs of a functional manager who is not performing up
to the standards are observed at group level and the
The Leadership Pipeline branches out in a second direction at the
passage from functional manager to business manager.
Instead of moving from functional manager to business manager
to group manager to enterprise manager, some managers move
upward on a functional path.
For the majority of people who work in large companies, this is the
relevant upward path since very few are selected to be business
This functional offshoot is the one most people will follow.
This functional branch of the Pipeline becomes clogged as easily
as the business leadership portion, and it’s important to use this
model to understand requirements and prevent the clogs.
In fact, most organizations have a significant number of critical
functional positions above Passage 4, and it’s crucial that a
process be in place to help them go through their leadership
The Functional Career Passage
At this level, self-help is the norm. The CEO usually provides direction but it rarely
suffices. The following suggestions are geared toward self-help because it’s the most
realistic course of development action:
Obtain an early, expert assessment of the function.
Valuing expert opinion other than your own is a basic requirement.
Validate your game plan and goals with the CEO and with a cross-section of key
leaders at every level.
Since everyone in the company relies on the services your function provides,
obtain input and confirmation from all levels. Being aware of perceived versus
actual value of your function is crucial.
Make time on your calendar for touching the enterprise at every level personally.
You require firsthand information from your internal customers and they need to
hear your message directly. Schedule visits at least once per month on an
Separate the important from the urgent.
Quick response to urgent problems is mandatory for functional leaders.
Successful managers at this high functional level aren’t seduced by short-term,
highly satisfying victories.
They learn to value real progress toward sustainable long-term goals
Developing Enterprising Functional Managers
This Chapter highlights how coaching of the executives in
the leadership pipeline to become future leaders is arduous
task to be performed within the organization. It prepares a
coaching framework and also emphasizes on how the
company will benefit by all such efforts.
A clear, complete and compelling feedback on the coaching
program for the managers is necessitated.
The Pipeline is motivational from both a carrot & a stick perspective. In
terms of the latter, it shocks managers into realizing they’re not operating
at the right leadership level (given their position).
In terms of the former, it’s very specific in delineating the behaviors and
attitudes they need to demonstrate to achieve specific career goals.
The Leadership Continuum
The Pipeline also helps managers locate themselves on the leadership
In many ways, these leadership passages correspond to psychological
developmental stages — the developmental stages of children, for
They represent the progressive growth stages of a leader, and when
they’re presented in that manner, people become much more coachable.
Finally, the Pipeline is a great coaching tool because of its clarity and
simplicity. People “get it” right away. They realize that if they want to be
successful at the manager of managers level, they need to let go of certain
values and skills that made them successful at the first-time manager level.
This Chapter is a concluding chapter and the substantial benefits
up and down the leadership pipeline have been developed in this
The benefits of the model has been illustrated with the example of
the best practices at the hotel giant Marriot International in its
Leadership Talent Development Process.
The Marriot story been chronicled in detail in the discussions of
this chapter It arrives at the leadership effectiveness through the
process of combining the attributes with results.
This process makes organizational development actionable and
understandable and provides the Board of Directors with insight
and information which is critical.
The strength of the Pipeline model in assessing the enterprise and
its ability to face the competitive market forces and evolving at a
dynamic strategy for its holistic growth are characteristically
qualified by the authors.
There’s a war for talent going on now, and it’s only going to
become more intense in the future.
The Leadership Pipeline model provides a way to win that war.
No matter what your position within an organization might be,
you can use it to think, talk about and decide on actions to build
your group’s talent.
In doing so, you may need to convince yourself and others that
it’s worth adopting this Pipeline model. Some people will prefer
buying stars; others will be reluctant to move from a traditional
leadership development model.
A Flexible Pipeline for Changing Organizations
The six leadership passages and the attendant skills, time
applications and values aren’t set in stone. Some requirements
might need to be tweaked to conform to specific environmental
Benefits Up & Down the Line
Ultimately, the Leadership Pipeline’s greatest value may be that
it provides a framework upon which new organizations can be
built and old ones can reconfigure themselves.
In the future, the six passages may change. As e-commerce
affects almost every company and as other major trends force
companies to rethink what they are and what they must do,
leadership passages will evolve.
Nonetheless, the Pipeline model will remain viable because its
essential message is timeless: Leadership entails a series of
passages that come with very specific values, skills and time
requirements; leaders must not skip passages as they take on
more responsibility and influence in an organization or they will
end up working at the wrong level and will clog the pipeline.
With these principles in mind, any organization can develop its
own talent to maximum leadership capacity now and in the
Benefits Up & Down the Line
There aren’t enough leaders to meet the demand for
Companies can develop future leaders by careful planning
Executives typically pass through six stages of career
growth; each stage can help them develop leadership
The stages begin with managing other workers and proceed
to managing managers, functions, a business, a group of
businesses and, finally, an enterprise.
Leadership requires developing new skills and a new attitude
toward time use.
Leadership requires building new attitudes about what
matters at work.
Key Take Aways
To develop a leadership pipeline, organizations need to make a
Developing a leadership pipeline requires new behaviour at the
top levels of the organization, and down the line.
Marriott has an exemplary leadership pipeline.
The greatest benefit of a leadership pipeline comes when
organizations need to build or re-configure themselves.
Key Take Aways