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How the New Generation of Leaders is Preparing for the Future

By Rich Wellins, Ph.D.

Richard S. Wellins, Ph.D.

Today’s environment compels business leaders to reflect on the challenges ahead and ask: Where are we headed? But perhaps the more important question is: How do we prepare ourselves to get there?

To address these questions DDI partnered with CNBC and the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) to conduct a special poll among YPO’s member base of over 20,000 CEOs, in 120 countries, aged 45 or younger. The findings present a pulse from over 2,100 of the world’s next generation of business leaders. The YPO Global Pulse is conducted on a quarterly basis and offers unique insights into the global economy from YPO’s network representing a broad range of business sizes and sectors. 

  top CEO challenges in 2014

How can you grow the bottom line and expand into new markets in our world of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA)? You can’t drive growth or manage complexity without superior talent.

  Most valuable skills today

As the results indicate, change is today’s status quo and innovation is key to outperforming competitors. Innovation is also an act of leadership: leaders create the right environment and develop talent to drive change and creativity.

  Next steps to develop future leaders

Research proves that leaders promoted from within are more likely to succeed than those hired from the outside. With the scarcity of quality talent in a competitive landscape, the only viable strategy is to grow your own leaders—and that starts from selecting the right talent, developing their potential, and setting them up for success.

Key questions to ask as you prepare leaders for the future:

  • Do we have the right leaders and talent to address our top challenges and drive the business where it needs to go?
  • How well do our leaders navigate ambiguity or foster innovation? How well do they develop their teams?
  • How are we improving development and succession efforts to build and fill the leadership pipeline?

Rich Wellins, Ph.D., is a senior vice president at DDI.

Click here for a copy of the research findings.

About our Partners

Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) is a not-for-profit, global network of young chief executives connected around the shared mission of becoming Better Leaders Through Education and Idea Exchange™. For more information, visit

CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news and provides real-time financial market coverage and business information to approximately 390 million homes worldwide. CNBC pioneered the Asia Business Leaders Awards (ABLA) in 2001 to salute remarkable business leaders for their continuing commitment to excellence, developing best practices and innovative strategies. For more information on ABLA and the list of winners, please visit

Posted: 28 Jan, 2014,
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