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Top Leadership Development Programs

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Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 08 May 2012, 12:59
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There is a lot of consensus on the top finance and consulting gigs. I'm not interested in those, but rather in Leadership Development Programs. What are some of the best LDPs out there? What benefits do these LDPs offer to its graduates?
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Re: Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 30 May 2012, 12:34
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I interned for a LDP and joining a fulltime LDP for another company.

For me, there are a few qualities to a good LDP:
1) Small size – this ensure attention is paid to the program participants. Make sure “focus” is the reason for the small size, and not budgetary or other reason. It is better if there is only 1 LDP in the company (not 1 for finance, another for marketing, etc.).
2) Mentorship – this goes hand in hand with the small size. If the company truly wants to develop you, they will provide executive level mentorship to guide you through your career path.
3) Exit option – many LDPs exit you at director level. This is opposed to a rotational program, in which exit option isn’t guaranteed.


Some of good LDPs I’ve come across:
• Sears – medium class size with mentorship and director level exit.
• Tenet – small class size (~4) with mentorship, hospital CEO within 5 years.
• HCA – small class size (~4) with mentorship, hospital CFO within 5 years.
• Nissan – small class size (~5) with mentorship, director level exit.

I’m really dislike large LDPs like GE’s ECLP. They rotate hundreds of ECLPs through the program. With only four 6-month rotations before exit, it’s really difficult to build strong network or skillsets. The network and career progression aren’t strong since there are so many ECLPs.
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Re: Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2012, 06:39
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I agree with Asimov in terms of smaller sized programs are typically better for long term career opportunities. GE hires 100+ MBAs a year from a large variety of different schools. Where as some of the smaller less known LDP's hire 2-6 from only a handful of the top schools. Exit opportunities from the best programs will set you up for either director level or GM type roles within 4-5 years out of school. At which point you are more than doubling your income from when you started in the program.

Some companies will have different functional rotational programs such as finance, marketing, or generalized. It is not uncommon for companies to have multiple rotation programs available. When I was in school Chevron had I think 4 or 5 different ones. Big CPGs typically have both finance and marketing. Manufacturing companies tend to go with broad based programs where you might do finance for one rotation and marketing on another.

Midsized companies often offer much more exposure to the very top level management. I joined a midsized (4billion) publicly traded manufacturing company out of school and routinely met with C-level execs, was mentored by a corporate officer, flew on the company jet more often than commercial, and even presented to the board a few times. That would not have happened at a fortune 100 company. Privately held companies also offer some interesting opportunities, they have stable senior management and often manage for the long term so there are some great development opportunities available.

Some of the best places to join aren't as formally structured as the GE's of the world, and some don't even hire every year. There are some who will basically make a program for you if they see the value in it; it wont necessarily be a "development program" it will just be senior management purposefully rotating you through several different functions to get you prepared to advance.
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Re: Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 11 Jun 2012, 14:10
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It depends on the school you go to. In general, I would say getting into a LDP isn’t difficult if you go to a top tier school (maybe top 15-20). However, getting into the one or two that you really want is very competitive. This is compounded by the fact that the LDP may not recruit at all of the schools. To go in from a non-core school is very difficult. Even if you do go to a core school, the LDP may be very limited in its hiring. Oftentimes, they recruit at more schools than the available slots in the program. LDP selectivity is probably similar to management consulting, getting into a consulting company isn’t difficult if you go to a top-tier school, getting into McKinsey is difficult.

As far as characteristics, different LDPs look for different candidates, usually based on fit with the company culture. If there is one common thread, I would say that they look for leadership. The style of leadership varies with the companies – some likes consensus style leadership, some likes authority based leadership. You can kind of get an idea of the style they look for by the schools they focus on. I noticed that Fuqua and Kellogg is common combination for many of the more selective LDPs, since Fuqua and Kellogg are both “team” focused schools.
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Re: Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 20 Jun 2012, 07:14
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vikram4689 wrote:
1) Why few MBA grads opt for LDP - LDP offers good salary and opportunities to quickly rise(which in turn means more power and more increase in salary in less time)
I don’t think this is necessarily true. But it is a good question to explore. LDPs tend to attract some of the best students at Fuqua. The low number in LDPs is because there aren’t that many LDP spots out there. In the case, of LDP vs non-LDP cross offers, I think LDP wins out most of the time. There are reasons why people choose not to go into LDPs:
1) The industry/role doesn’t typically have LDP programs. For example, those interested in entrepreneurship, marketing in CPG companies, consulting, investment banking.
2) Some married people cannot handle the rotational nature of LDPs. Although some LDPs allow participants to only rotate roles and not location.
3) The location of the rotations may not be attractive. This is especially true of manufacturing companies, in which the factories aren’t located in big metropolises.
4) The LDP isn’t a real LDP. For example, Citi’s rotational program only rotates people, but does not provide any other benefits.
vikram4689 wrote:
2) What is difference b/w rotational / non-rotational & which is better
Most if not all LDPs are rotational in natural. Some may only rotate you in a specific function (i.e. marketing & sales), but you will rotate. There are some downsides to rotating (relocating, not developing strong expertise in any specific field, etc.), but the benefits outweigh the downsides (developing a holist view of the company operations, broaden network of contacts, etc.).
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Re: Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 29 Oct 2012, 13:38
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beehagit wrote:
As mentioned above, I've noticed that many Pharma companies appear to offer either Marketing or Finance LDPs/rotations. If anyone out there would care to surmise, do you believe that joining one of the Finance rotations would be the beginning of the track to CFO?

The answer depends on the company and the rotational program. Every company has a core functional competency. Some companies are strong in marketing, some in finance, others in operations. Companies tend to groom its future leaders from that functional pool. Although your initial rotations may start in a specific function, you may end up doing something completely different depending on your potential. There are many CEOs who start in a functional LDP, and transition to a broader rotation later in their career.

With that said, it is adviseable to join a functional LDP in a function you are interested in. Your performance and career potential depends on how you do initially. After that, the sky is the limit. You are not limited to CFO or treasurer, if you join a finance LDP.
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Re: Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 22 Jun 2012, 05:40
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What companies have strong LDPs in the healthcare/biotech area? What are the job opps like after completion?
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Re: Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2012, 18:02
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RoyHalladay wrote:
What companies have strong LDPs in the healthcare/biotech area? What are the job opps like after completion?


I would say for the most part, health care companies are not general management type rotational programs, they are generally either marketing LDPs OR finance LDPs, at least if you are looking at products (biotech/pharma/devices). Services/delivery and insurance are often a bit different.

So, many have commercial/marketing LDPs. These would work very similarly to what a CPG company would. You might rotate through different brands or different stages of marketing (market research, early stage, late stage) and then you just pick or interview for a spot on a team at the end. I don't think it's necessarily a huge jump once you finish your LDP. Marketing programs tend to have a very set promotional structure...do this for two years, then do this for four years, etc.

Pharma/biotech companies almost always include a sales rotation, and this might be one of only two rotations.

Pretty much all of the major companies have these. Amgen, Genentech, Merck, J&J, Medtronic, BMS, Lilly. Probably many more that I'm not thinking of off the top of my head.

I think Cigna and Aetna both have LDP programs that do rotate through different functions. I don't know how they exit out though.

Hospital/provider/delivery is just a whole different beast I think. There are a couple that were mentioned earlier that have specific MBA recruiting, but others you have to come through residencies (for which the pay really sucks to start out) and some hospitals just aren't structured the same as a corporation. You might have a performance improvement/quality improvement job in which you end up doing a mix of operations and finance, rather than rotating through departments.
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Re: Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2012, 07:10
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stompy wrote:
One other question: These rotational programs often times have the word "leadership" in them - thus implying a degree of managerial responsibility. Is this a farce? During these rotational programs are you really leading people? Or just being your own "personal leader"?
The majority of the "management" straight out of MBA are managing processes or brands. However, if you choose to work in a plant or in sales, you most likely will manage a line of workers or sales reps in your region.
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Re: Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2012, 10:13
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I could be wrong. I believe, in general, technology or entrepreneurial firms do not have LDPs. There are several reasons: 1) they have a meritocracy culture, so they will ID talent internally based on past performance in the company; 2) they are not short on talent pool; 3) some may have high turn over because of talent competition in the Bay Area, wasting resource to develop someone, who will jump ship; 4) company too small to worry about succession planning (Musk is probably not concerned about his replacement).
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Re: Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 30 May 2012, 20:09
asimov, was there a reason that you joined a different company? Anything about your internship that signaled something off, or just a better opportunity came along?
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Re: Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2012, 05:35
great posts.
LDP sounds great to me.

So, how competitive is it?
Anything specific they r looking for in candidates??
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Re: Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2012, 07:57
asimov wrote:
It depends on the school you go to. In general, I would say getting into a LDP isn’t difficult if you go to a top tier school (maybe top 15-20). However, getting into the one or two that you really want is very competitive. This is compounded by the fact that the LDP may not recruit at all of the schools. To go in from a non-core school is very difficult. Even if you do go to a core school, the LDP may be very limited in its hiring. Oftentimes, they recruit at more schools than the available slots in the program. LDP selectivity is probably similar to management consulting, getting into a consulting company isn’t difficult if you go to a top-tier school, getting into McKinsey is difficult.

As far as characteristics, different LDPs look for different candidates, usually based on fit with the company culture. If there is one common thread, I would say that they look for leadership. The style of leadership varies with the companies – some likes consensus style leadership, some likes authority based leadership. You can kind of get an idea of the style they look for by the schools they focus on. I noticed that Fuqua and Kellogg is common combination for many of the more selective LDPs, since Fuqua and Kellogg are both “team” focused schools.


How difficult would it be to break into these Elite LDPs in the retail, CPG or manufacturing sectors without experience within those industries? Would these be possible with a finance background, strong leadership experience and a top 5 MBA program
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Re: Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2012, 04:31
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There's no specific "elite" LDP like ibanking or consulting. LDPs are very different in nature, and one may be good for you, but not good for others. For example, some rotations are only in rural locations; others rotate you to many different locations, which makes it tough if your spouse has a job.

As long as the LDP recruits at your school actively, you are fine. If it doesn't, you will have a hard time finding out about the program (since many doesn't even post information on the company website about it), also, you'll have a hard time getting your foot in the door. Some LDPs look for specific backgrounds; for example, I believe DuPont like people with marketing and sales experience. Others don't care about your background, especially the general management ones, since they will rotate you across a spectrum of different functions/roles.

I wish I can suggest some LDPs to you, but the ones I pursued don't cross recruit with Chicage or Yale. If you want to find out more about LDPs, I would suggest connecting with the General Management Club at your school.
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Re: Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2012, 07:12
Good insight here, want to follow the discussion
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Re: Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2012, 14:39
Hi, I have the following questions regarding LDPs (great thread btw, not a lot of insight on LDPs on the internet from what I've seen)

- Any idea what the average starting salaries are at LDPs? Signing bonuses? I looked around and my feeling is that the top programs are paying on average around 100-110K with a 15-20K signing bonus.

- I realize there is no ranking of LDPs like there are rankings for MC or IB, but is there any general consensus as to what the top programs are? From doing some research it looks like Intel's ADP program is highly regarded. GE's seems so-so regarded. I am wondering if there are any others.

- Is there anyone out there who has actually gone through a LDP and can talk about their experiences?

thanks for any help
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Re: Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2012, 18:41
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you have the starting salary spot on. some of the LDPs come with pretty good perks on top of the salary as well. the standard annual raise is 4-8% excluding the performance based bonus. when you get promoted, you get a pay pump as well (since promotions are build in, you can expect your salary to go up faster than 4-8%). it's hard to gauge the pay 5 years out, but I would put it at around 170-220K.
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Re: Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2012, 05:40
asimov wrote:
you have the starting salary spot on. some of the LDPs come with pretty good perks on top of the salary as well. the standard annual raise is 4-8% excluding the performance based bonus. when you get promoted, you get a pay pump as well (since promotions are build in, you can expect your salary to go up faster than 4-8%). it's hard to gauge the pay 5 years out, but I would put it at around 170-220K.




as a follow up... on the LDPs with exit positions as director or GM, is there a general range of what the starting salary for that position would be? I know it would be different by company but is there a general range?
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Re: Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 20 Jun 2012, 06:13
2 questions:

1) Why few MBA grads opt for LDP - LDP offers good salary and opportunities to quickly rise(which in turn means more power and more increase in salary in less time)
2) What is difference b/w rotational / non-rotational & which is better
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Re: Top Leadership Development Programs [#permalink] New post 20 Jun 2012, 08:09
Great info. Thanks.
Re: Top Leadership Development Programs   [#permalink] 20 Jun 2012, 08:09
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