Episode 85: Why We’re Growing Organizations All Wrong

The 90th Percentile: An Unconventional Leadership Podcast

Published: August 17, 2022


Are we growing leadership in organizations the wrong way? Developing high-potentials isn’t a bad strategy for success—unless you do it at the expense of your other employees. It’s time to focus on leaders at all levels. Organizations die just like trees: They can fail from forces at the top, in the middle, or at the bottom.

On nearly every survey that asks senior executives about the bench strength of their leaders, they report that their organizations fall woefully short. When asked to assess their current leadership development efforts and whether they’ll prepare future leaders, these execs seldom give affirmative answers. In this podcast episode, we’re looking into better ways to grow effective leaders in your organization.

Key Points

  • While there’s nothing wrong with having an effective high-potential development program, the assumption that all an organization needs to be successful are a few good leaders at the top is problematic.
  • Research: The better the leader, the higher the percentage of employees willing to give extra effort, regardless of their level in the organization.
  • an empirically created 360-degree assessment is the most accurate predictor of a leader’s effectiveness.
  • one of the most significant drivers of employee satisfaction and engagement is the opportunity for development.
  • High-potential leaders are thought to be in the top 5 percent of the potential leader pool. It’s clear that organizations need to refine their selection processes when choosing leaders for these programs. 

Connect with Joe Folkman


Zenger Folkman hosts an exclusive live webinar every month, where you can meet Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman and join in a conversation about their latest research in leadership development. Find out more information and register here.


You’re Growing Your Organization All Wrong– Article in Talent Quarterly