Leaders CAN be made. Here’s how.

Leaders CAN be made. Where will your next leader come from?

The saying is that leaders are born, not made. If you’re a parent, you know that’s not true. You were thrust into a situation of vital importance and stepped up to the challenge. Often, it’s outside events that ignite the leadership potential within each of us. When combined with dedicated and structured internal exploration, great leaders can indeed be made.

Simply adding a star performer to a team boosts the effectiveness of other team members by 5-15%. No wonder, then, that study after study shows stronger financial performance in companies that make proportionally greater investments in identifying and developing top talent.

-Harvard Business Review

Are you ready to invest in your top talent?

Vistage Master Chair Christine Spray will be taking a limited number of applicants for her Emerging Leader Program, kicking off on April 2.

The program curriculum is organized into four modules – Personal, Interpersonal, Team, and Organizational. Working from the inside out, participants will develop the core competencies necessary for successful leadership.

Here are self-directed exercises established and rising leaders can implement to enhance all four arenas where strong leadership skills are needed:

  • Build meaningful work relationships – Have intentional team interaction, like asking about interests outside the office or writing sincere thank you notes to individual members for jobs done well.
  • Motivate others – Write an open letter to acknowledge your team’s achievements, administer a team morale survey, or initiate a simple rewards program to show appreciation.
  • Strategize for improvement – Create a task force to make a “stop doing” list of outdated or cumbersome procedures and policies, ask individual team members to define quality and how the company achieves it.
  • Coach others – Conduct individual goal-setting meetings with your team, institute a new hire forum to discuss workplace excellence, and simply ask the team often, “how are things going?”
  • Drive positive work values – Openly discuss what it means to be value-driven, identify and clarify team norms for professional interaction, write the workplace values that define your leadership approach and share with all.
  • Build trust – Ask a small group to identify “trust busters” and work to eliminate these, establish a feedback group to discuss levels of trust within the team, define authentic behavior for yourself.
  • Conduct better meetings – Address latecomers to eliminate tardiness, let the team know you’re working on facilitation skills and ask for feedback, stop meetings midway to ask for suggestions, list ways to cut down on meetings.
  • Clarify issues – Create a committee to identify and prioritize team issues, find a personal mentor to talk openly about leadership issues, try to identify patterns in recurring issues, log how long it takes to resolve issues.
  • Vision – Discuss the future of the team with them often, keep a journal for visionary thinking of needs, wants, desire, and dreams, write the “best case” scenario for your team’s future and share with them.

Without the opportunity or external challenge, it’s hard to truly see a person’s intrinsic leadership capabilities. The Vistage Emerging Leader program provides the perfect opportunity for participants to learn the techniques of true leaders, and a forum to put those techniques to use to build confidence, face challenges, and make decisions.


  • Companies with 20-500 employees
  • Employee is currently second/third in the management hierarchy, or poised to be in a management role soon, or identified as a rising star


  • 2-year program with six full-day programs every other month
  • Interactive workshops on 12 core leadership competencies
  • Mentor/mentee training for on-the-job reinforcement


Benefits to your organization

  • Bench strength
  • Employee retention
  • Improved execution

Benefits to emerging leaders

  • Develop core leadership competencies
  • Improve career advancement opportunities
  • Grow your network with other emerging leaders