High-Potential Programs

Accelerate Leaders with High-Potential Programs

At every level of your organization, you have people who are capable of much more. If you play your cards right to retain and grow this group of leaders, they will chart a strong course for your company’s future.

But if these leaders feel overlooked or uncertain about their future at your company, these highly talented individuals will walk out your door—and potentially through the door of a competitor.

It’s a tough job to know who the right people are and develop them to their full potential. That’s why we walk by your side at every level to find your most promising leaders and accelerate their growth. We’re committed to helping you build a strong leadership pipeline to lead your company now and in the future.

By The Numbers

What Do High-Potential Leaders Want?

DDI's Global Leadership Forecast data tells how high-potential leaders prefer to learn.


Want More Coaching

85% want more coaching from internal and external coaches


Want More Instructor-Led Training

71% want more live, instructor-led training to strengthen their leadership skills


Want More Assessment

56% want more assessment to help them understand their strengths and areas for improvement

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Who Belongs in a High-Potential Program?

Evaluating someone’s potential is one of the hardest tasks HR is asked to do. Part of this challenge is having to rely on recommendations from managers. But every manager defines high potentials differently.

Defining someone as simply having or not having potential is hard. And it’s even harder to be unbiased and objective. Instead of dwelling on who has potential, ask yourself, “potential for what?”

At DDI, we don’t look at leadership potential as a fixed quality. At every level, we look at high-potential leaders as people who are able and willing to grow quickly in a short period of time. We’ve created a structured approach that you can quickly implement. So you can ready your leaders to support new business strategies and take on increasingly complex roles in record time.

High-Potential Program Essentials

A great high-potential program should contain several key elements:

  • Stretch skills: The program must prepare leaders to develop skills that enable them to take on more complexity in future roles.
  • Peer connection: Leaders should have the opportunity to learn from their high-potential peers and build strong, cross-functional connections.
  • Personal insight: With the goal of rapid advancement, it’s critical for leaders to receive deep personal insights through assessment to help them focus their development on what’s ahead.
  • On-demand learning: As they advance quickly, many high-potential leaders miss out on some foundational development. In addition to their stretch assignments, they may need on-demand learning to fill in foundational gaps.
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Sample Learning Journey

See a Sample High-Potential Program for the Frontline

We’ve created many programs that help frontline managers quickly get ready to take on more complex roles, such as director or VP. Our sample journey shows how you can prepare frontline leaders to drive change, influence others, build talent, and connect execution to the business strategy as they eye mid-level roles. 

This case assumes that participants have already learned leadership foundations and are ready for advanced skills.

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Boost High-Potential Programs with Assessment Insights

One of the challenges high-potential leaders face is making quick transitions into new roles. With such little time to gain experience, their growth depends on having deep, personal insights about their leadership to finetune development.

Because of our strong history in leadership assessments, we can help you amplify high-potential development programs with integrated assessments. With assessments for emerging leaders up to the CEO, you can identify potential, accelerate development, assess readiness, help leaders stretch into new roles, and much more.

Explore assessments

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Sample Learning Journey

See a Sample High-Potential Program for the Mid-Level

Interested in a high-potential program for mid-level leaders? Here’s a sample learning journey showing how we prepare this group for strategic executive roles.

This program shows how you can help your middle managers stretch themselves toward more strategic roles, helping them learn to lead with vision, engage stakeholders, connect talent to strategy, and drive transformation through culture.

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One Subscription to Grow All Your Fast-Rising Leaders

Your fast-growing leaders need resources to help them quickly take on tougher roles. With a DDI Leadership Development Subscription, you can develop them both proactively and in their moment of need.

By combining content designed for different levels of leadership, learners can master foundational skills needed in their current role while also building stretch skills for their next role. Leaders can learn on their own or participate in group learning to build connections with peers.

They have options for integrated assessments and learning that help them grow even faster. Plus, you’ll have the tools to create personalized and group programs for your high potentials at your fingertips.

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Explore Our High-Potential Development Webinar Series

Want to learn more about best practices to support your high-potential program? Watch our three-part webinar series and explore high-potential programs at every level—from emerging leaders to executives. 

Watch now