Top 100 Leadership Development Programs Named


Top 100 Leadership Development Programs Named

Press Release Leadership Excellence

September 22, 2006

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Stop Wasting Money on Leadership Development

The Best Programs Have the Best Practices

How effective is your leadership development? How does your program rate?

In our well-intentioned efforts to develop leaders within our organizations, we waste a lot of precious time, money, and other resources. The good news is that the best organizations invest wisely by designing and delivering great programs for emerging and experienced leaders.

“Sadly, for many organizations, leadership development is jut another wasted expense on a select group of so-called high potentials,” says Ken Shelton, editor for the past 22 years of Leadership Excellence, the magazine of leadership development.

“Worse, many people equate leadership development programs with expensive off-site trips, resorts and recreation. All too often the delivery of content and development of people is overshadowed by the entertainment aspects of the program.”

Shelton notes that he attends many of the top leadership conferences and events in the world each year and finds that many participants get very little from them. “The total cost per person to be in attendance can be as high as $10,000, and yet many participants don’t even take notes of what is said. They make no attempt to capture content and have no intent of applying any of it to their work. And so, the ROI to the organization is zero.”

“Somehow,” says Shelton, “we think that we have to spend lots of money every year to entertain a select few people in the name of leadership development. Some American corporations are now spending over $100 million a year on programs that have little payoff.”

Learn from the Best

More organizations today are creating custom programs to develop their own leaders—as opposed to simply buying the top graduates from the best schools, sending their people to public training programs, or relying exclusively on outside consultants, trainers, speakers and authors, continues Shelton. “But some leadership programs are much better than others. What makes for a great program and who are the best examples? To find out, again this year, Shelton surveyed about 600 U.S.-based organizations known for their excellence in developing leaders and rated them.

The ranking was based on seven criteria:

• Vision/mission. Are these statements meaningful to all participants and focused on outcomes that all stakeholders experience and appreciate? Are they linked to strategy? 

• Involvement/participation. How broad and deep are the involvement and participation of people in the programs?

• Accountability/measurement. What ROI measurements are made and reported and to what degree is personal accountability for performance part of the program? 

• Content/curriculum. How well designed is the program? How credible is the content? How relevant is the curriculum? To what degree is the program customized?

• Presenters/presentations. What are the qualifications of the presenters and how effective are their presentations? How is the program delivered? 

• Take-home value/results for customers. What do participants take away and apply to improve themselves, their families, their teams, and their volunteer work? 

• Outreach of the programs and products. What is the impact of the program beyond the sponsoring organization? What difference has it made?

Based on the responses, interviews, site visits, and 22 years of publishing experience in this field, Shelton has issued a ranking of the 100 best Leadership Development programs in North America:

Small to midsize organizations(under 2,000)* 
1. Plante & Moran 
2. Acuity (a Mutual Insurance Company) 
3. Pacific Service Credit Union 
4. InsureMe 
5. Analytical Graphics 
6. Genencor International 
7. Nugget Markets 
8. Republic Bancorp 
9. The Container Store
10. John Wiley & Sons 
*Many companies have impressive leadership development but lack formal programs

Large organizations (over 2,000) 
1. Catepillar University 
2. General Electric 
3. Southwest Airlines
4. Jet Blue Airlines 
5. Procter & Gamble 
6. 3M 
7. Capital One 
8. McDonald’s 
9. Boeing
10. Disney Instittute 
11. Motorola University 
12. Best Buy 
13. Home Depot 
14. Yahoo 
15. Tie: Countrywide and Qualcomm

Education/universities/schools of management and business
1. University of Michigan/Ross 
2. Center for Public Leadership, JFK School of Government, HarvardUniversity 
3. University of Chicago/GSB Leadership Program 
4. UCLA/Anderson 
5. USC/Marshall CEO 
6. Northwestern/Kellogg 
7. Pennsylvania/Wharton 
8. MIT/Sloan 
9. Harvard Business School
10. Duke/Fuqua 
11. Ball State 
12. Emory 
13. Utah Valley State College Center for the Advancement of Leadership
14. University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management 
15.Tie: Bellevue University/Vanderbilt University

Non-profit organizations
1. HCI 
2. ASTD 
3. SHRM 
4. ISPI 
5. The Conference Board 
6. Baptist Leadership Institute 
7. Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts 
8. Leader to Leader Institute 
9. ASQ
10. NYC Leadership Academy 
11. Berkana Institute 
12. Manchester Bidwell 
13. Carilion Health Systems 
14. Healthcare Businesswomen 
16. LDS Church/BYU/Marriott 
17. SoL 
18. Leadership Wabash Valley 
19. Griffen Hospital
20. Anasazi Foundation

1. DefenseAcquisitionUniversity(DOD) 
2. U.S.AirForceAcademy 
3. FBIAcademy 
4. U.S.NavalAcademy/Seals
5. U.S.MarineAcademy 
6. U.S.Army/Westpoint 
7. U.S.ArmyRangers 
8. BaldrigeAward/ASQ 
9. Tie: U.S.CoastGuard/U.S.National Guard
10. National Defense University

Independent consultants/trainers/coaches
1. Zenger/Folkman 
2. Marshall Goldsmith Partners
3. Marcus Buckingham 
4. JimCollins 
5. Human Performance Institute 
6. Maxcomm 
7. Leadersource 
8. Lebow Company 
9. Synthesis Consulting
10. Tom Peters Company 
11. Liminal Group 
12. Guttman Development Strategies 
13. McDargh Communications 
14. Leadership Excellence 
15. Interaction Associates

Large consulting groups
1. Linkage/GILD
2. Results-Based Leadership 
3. HSM/World Business Forum 
4. Senn-Delaney Leadership 
5. IQPC Corporate University 
6. Vital Smarts 
7. Accenture 
8. Lee Hecht Harrison 
9. Adizes Institute
10. Richard Chang & Associates 
11. Vesna 
12. Dialogos 
13. Pacific Institute
14. FranklinCovey 
15. Ken Blanchard Companies

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