Executive Leadership Development

Develop Emerging Executives

Over half of executives fail, according to DDI’s global survey of HR leaders. But high-quality executive leadership development can help, improving success rates by up to 50%.

Many companies have little or no executive development. Why? 

  • It’s difficult to create a personalized program that is relevant to all executives.
  • Executives want to learn from experts, but that type of training can be expensive and challenging to create in-house.
  • Executives are expected to figure things out on their own. But when the new executive is in trouble, it may be too late. 

To meet this complex set of needs, we developed Pressure Point Development, a unique program for emerging and early executives.


  • I didn’t have a true sense of the executive culture and how to thrive and succeed. This helped me understand the top priorities of my new role.
  • I was starting to really feel overwhelmed in my role. This process cleared the fog for me.
  • I knew increased span of control often means a step back in performance for the organization. I was looking for ways to hit the ground without losing momentum.
  • If you think you don’t need it, you probably really do need it. We came to the realization that I had glaring issues that were not even on my radar.
  • It was engaging and stimulating—taught me how to become more of a Change Agent.
  • I was looking for ways to hit the ground without losing momentum.
  • I feel like I got maximum benefit. I never would have thought of some of these [development] areas if I hadn’t been part of this program.
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Explore 4 Forces of Executive Pressure

Over decades of working with executives, we’ve found that high-level leaders experience pressure from four sources:

    • Leading the business requires complex decision making and analysis.
    • Leading teams requires varied people skills.
    • Leading across a larger network requires forethought and proactivity.
    • Leading one’s self requires introspection and adaptation.

Every executive feels these pressure points uniquely. And their personality and style influences how they react to pressure. As a result, each leader is vulnerable to unaddressed pressure points that may cause them to fail. 

We use this pressure point framework as a powerful way to help emerging and early executives contextualize their experiences. It targets their development and sets them up for success.

How Does Pressure Point Development Work?

Pressure Point Development helps emerging and early executives become more effective in their current role and get ready faster for future challenges. 

It is easy and quick to implement, yet personalized to the individual and your organization's context. While Pressure Point Development is often offered to groups, each high-potential executive also has their own coach.

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A Clear Process for Executive Development

How it works:

    • Program launch: Our coach meets with the executive and their manager to discuss role expectations, challenges, motivations, and aspirations.
    • Personal assessment: A guided self-assessment helps the executive understand how their unique style influences their effectiveness.
    • Three Pressure Point sessions: The executive meets with their coach to talk about their personal challenges.
    • LEAF Plan for development: The coach and executive create a LEAF development plan built on Learning targets, Experience needs, Application plans, and critical Feedback necessary to sustain progress.
    • Debrief: The executive debriefs with their coach and manager about how to develop successfully moving forward.

Individualized Executive Learning

Many emerging or early executives struggle to make development a priority. They are busy and may doubt whether structured development can help with their challenges.

Our executive leadership development program is short and high impact. Because it’s built to address common executive challenges, we create openings for your senior leaders to have “a-ha!” moments about challenges they can relate to.

It is also objective. Our coaches have worked with executives across organizations and industries. They offer a trusted perspective fueled by wisdom and experience.

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HR and Senior Executives Value Pressure Point Development

Here's why our clients value the Pressure Point program: 

  • Accountability: Accountability is built into Pressure Point Development by involving both the executive’s manager and HR. We also spark motivation and accountability through deeply personalized experiences that help executives see how their growth will help solve the challenges holding them back.
  • Consistency: Pressure Point offers a consistent framework that can support your organization's comprehensive strategy for helping executives succeed.
  • Ease: From content to expert coaching to data insights and more, we take care of the details. That way, you can focus on what matters most: building a strong executive bench.
smiling woman executive working on her laptop doing her DDI executive leadership development training


Ready for High-Speed Executive Development?

Learn how Pressure Point Development delivers a proactive and personalized coaching experience to accelerate success and avoid common pitfalls for emerging and early executives.

Download an overview
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Connect and Develop Executive Teams

After completing Pressure Point Development, you’ll receive a group report for all participating executives. This data can help you pinpoint areas where it makes sense to offer group development.

For group learning, you can leverage DDI’s flexible MultiLevel Leadership Development Subscriptions. Subscriptions make it easy to create curated experiences that help your executives fill gaps and connect with each other.

Explore subscriptions