One of the features that separate the best companies from rest is how well the company nurtures its future leaders. Fortune Magazine compiled a list of 25 companies that excel in developing leadership talent.
One of the interesting things is that mangers in different countries require country specific talents. For example, Indian companies stress taking a leadership role in society so their companies allocate significant funds to community work. In China, leadership requires building relationships with national and local government officials. In Brazil, managers need to be able to deal with a quickly and frequently changing economic and regulatory environment.
One of the techniques that Proctor & Gamble has used in the past is to have the product manager chooses his or her successor. This builds a special mentoring relationship which helps develop leadership skills.
Another technique that is used by many companies is to give a manager different assignments in varying countries. This forces the leader to develop flexibility of attitudes and tolerance of other people with entirely different values. It forces the manager to examine his values and learn to work with and respect himself and others in spite of their cultural backgrounds.
Experience shows that these leadership training programs work and benefit both the manager and the company.