What makes a leader effective? Sound decision-making, knowing how to manage people, taking charge, and inspiring others to achieve goals are a few of the qualities. But helping others develop their full potential is also an integral part of successful leadership.
According to a new Catalyst report, mentoring pays off for both emerging talent and those who invest time in cultivating them. And high-potential talent who have been mentored, coached, or sponsored to advance in their careers are more likely to “pay it forward” by developing the next generation of leaders.
Paying it forward pays back: For both mentees and mentors, we see tangible career advancement. Most exciting is that for mentors and sponsors we see serious compensation growth — up to $25,075 in additional compensation between 2008 and 2010, say the report’s authors.
Why? It may just be that developing emerging talent creates more visibility and a following within the organization for the high-potentials who are doing the developing, and that leads to greater reward and recognition for the extra effort.
Women, the report finds, are even more likely than men to develop other talent. Sixty-five percent of women who received career development support are now developing new talent, compared to 56 percent of men. Seventy-three percent of the women developing new talent are developing women, compared to only 30 percent of men. This finding helps bust the often-cited “Queen Bee” myth that women are reluctant to provide career support to other women and may even actively undermine each other.
Overall, the report finds that high-potentials who are paying it forward today recognize that others once took a risk on them and gave them their chance—and now it’s their turn. The men and women who are more likely to be developing others:
• Received developmental support (59%) vs. those who did not (47%).
• Were sponsored (66%) as opposed to not receiving sponsorship (42%).
• Are in senior executive/CEO level positions (64%) vs. those at non-managerial levels (30%).
• Are more proactive when it comes to their own career advancement (63%) vs. those who are relatively inactive (42%) with regard to their own career advancement.
The report poses key questions for companies to consider. For instance: How is your organization creating a culture of learning and talent development? What will motivate your talent to “pay it forward” to the next generation of leaders? How can more men be encouraged to develop women at their organizations? How can organizations disarm stigmas about spending time with the opposite sex at work?
Mentorship and Leadership training can increase the numbers of high producers and potentials who can and will be effective mentors and sponsors in your organization.
Access the Study at Catalyst