Who are Your Top 10%

April 12, 2009 - Mac Lake - Leadership
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I was doodling on a legal pad on a flight back from Chicago recently when I found myself drawing out our organizational structure (yeah, I know most people doodle stick men…I doodle org charts).  As I was looking at the structure and the names in those boxes a flood of questions hit me.

  • How old are the top 10% of the leaders in our organization?
  • How many of the 10% are over 40 years of age?
  • Who are the 40+ somethings raising up in leadership?
  • How many Next Gen’s are the top 10% investing in?
  • If the top 10% suddenly disappeared who would be in charge?
  • Who will be the decision makers in our organization in the next 10 years?
  • What leadership opportunities are we giving Next Gen leaders in our organization?

For us it was good news bad news.  We have 73% of our top 10% who are over 40 years old.  This is probably pretty typical, but it made us ask what are we doing to bring Next Gen leaders to the decision making table?  Around 50% of our top 10% are mentoring Next Gen leaders.  Hey, that is not too bad, but now that we are aware we can do better.  So we gave a charge to our entire management team to get involved in mentoring at least one Next Gen leader this year.  This exercise made us look a little closer at the Next Gen leaders that are out there.  We made a list and have actively started giving them some stretch assignments.  In addition we started a Training the Trainer program to improve the mentoring process here at Seacoast.

LEADERSHP TOOL:

Give this a try with your team.

1.  Make copies of your organizational chart.

2.  Get your team together, read and discuss 2 Timothy 2:2

3.  Next take a look at your top 10% (by the way the top 10% do not have to be on staff) and ask yourself the questions listed above.  What are your observations?

4.  Work together as a team and write out your next steps.

Share your ideas and insights with me, I’d love to hear what your thinking.

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Mac Lake

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3 responses to Who are Your Top 10%

  1. Mac, you are the man! Your simple and easy-to-follow insights make leadership development a little bit easier to apply!

  2. Hey Chris, thanks for stopping by the new blog and checking it out. Should be ready to launch in a few more days. Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Mac, got directed into your blog today from some folks on Twitter. Found this post while poking around. Love it!

    Quick question: How do you define “top 10%”? Do you mean the boxes at the top of the org chart or are you using a performance measurement?

    The reason I ask is that I’m working with a pretty flat organization and I’m wondering if I should just apply it across the entire top level or narrow it down (~30 people in the flat level).

    Love to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks,
    Bubba

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