Some would say children are our emerging leaders so definite leadership programs should be introduced at the school level itself. While others would point out that the young generations of executives who have just joined the corporate ranks need to be considered the leaders for the future and be specifically trained to tackle the helms of business. One school of thought have identified them as professionals who have less than 10 years of experience in the industry but are garnering domain knowledge to specialize in their own fields and poised to become the next batch of leaders.

The focus is as much on professional development as it is on peer networking opportunities which will allow young professionals to interact with their fellow executives, develop new ideas and learn the rules of the corporate game through a practical approach. Most universities today have realized the importance of training their students for future leadership roles and have introduced comprehensive emerging leaders programs to make them more industry ready and employable for the global markets. In fact, many student internships today are designed to develop these leadership qualities in the younger generation where they are taught as much team participation, team building as they are taught team leading qualities.

Taking this idea forward are progressive corporates who do not mind taking on fresh blood against experienced honchos because they like to mold these young minds into following their path. It is easier for youngsters to inculcate their thoughts and philosophies so that the emerging leaders of tomorrow would direct the future of the company exactly towards the goal that the entrepreneurs had in mind. The program as geared towards individual as well as organizational development which enables the perfect amalgamation of capabilities and potential with the expectations of the industry.

The process of leadership growth is interspersed with building relationships and networking. Networking and building a strong database of contacts is an important lesson for the emerging leaders to learn. How they network and the volume of their contacts is the foundation for all the business they will drive in future. A key focus is on accountability where they learn to follow instructions, follow the organizational goals and then report the progress of their accomplishments. Another aspect is to look inwards and held them identify their own interest and goals so that their individual capabilities can be honed and strengthened for future leadership roles. This includes their communication skills and conflict resolution capabilities, their teamwork potential as well as their talent for external communications.

Areas in which emerging leaders need to train themselves include operational management, finance and accounting, human resource management as well as intensive training into the new and emerging technologies that will define the way we will do business in future. Focus is also on external communication and representing the brand well. This where the young leaders of tomorrow will converge their knowledge, their contacts, their awareness of current trends and technologies with the hands on experience that they garner with their day to day activities in the program, during internships and through the early days of their professional lives.

Gary Takacs is the founder of The CEO University is a US-based, CEO and Executive Peer Group Organization that creates opportunities for accelerated business growth and personal development  through CEO Peer Group Meetings that are CEO-led, one-to-one mentoring focused on unique business and personal challenges, and purposeful  learning events.