Leadership Development: Life-Blood or Lip Service?

Global Senior Management Survey suggests lack of commitment to developing leaders from within.

SHANGHAI, CHINA, April 10 2014 – Four out of five business leaders consider leadership development the key to unlocking value, but less than half are walking the talk. That’s one of the disconnects revealed in the latest global Senior Management Survey by Cornerstone International Group.

Leadership development strategies have been seen as the life blood of an organization since Talent Management came on the scene 20 years ago.  Yet designing the required talent development and compensation programs remains a challenge for most companies.

Although 84% made leadership development their top priority, the Cornerstone survey showed that   only 50% had a Human Capital strategy embedded.   Less than 40% believed they had good advancement opportunity and only 33% thought their leadership pipeline was healthy.

“That suggests leadership development is wishful thinking for a lot of people,” says Simon Wan, Chairman and CEO of the Cornerstone International Group. “The organizations that do this well have policies and innovative strategies embedded throughout.  It has to become a cultural priority and it is hard work.”

Cornerstone International Group is a global retained search and leadership development organization in 30 countries.  It maintains head offices here in Shanghai and also in Atlanta, USA.

The survey data supporting a commitment to leadership development is also down slightly from the previous year.  Other studies have suggested that these programs may need a second look.

According to the Corporate Executive Board, the percentage of graduates from leadership programs who stay with the firm has dropped from 65-70% to below 45%.

In a 2013 study, one in five left for jobs elsewhere and the largest group decided the potential benefits were not worth the added responsibility.

The annual Cornerstone Senior Management Survey was conducted in February-March, 2014 and composition of respondents is as follows:

By market:          Latin America 41% | US and Canada 38% | EMEA 33% | Asia-Pac 12%

By revenue:         Under $50M 34% | $50-$500M 25% | $500M-$1B 10% | Over $1B 31%


To download the survey report or for information on Cornerstone International Group, visit the website at www.cornerstone-group.com.


For Information:

James Ng



Simon Wan


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