More Than Just Money

There is a shortage of chief executives and companies are getting nervous. Retirement looms for the baby boomers born in the '40s, the '50s generation is the generation that never really got a chance, the '60s generation lacks ambitions and who knows to what those born in the '70s aspire? This is the general reasoning and it is evident that leadership development is the process that will ultimately determine whether we have competitive companies in the future. Companies based in Sweden have an international reputation for good leadership. But is this still true today? Are we good at cultivating leaders that possess the business acumen required for the future? The author demonstrates that leadership development is not a question of senior management monitoring all the employees and their possible potential. By describing how the work is done at Atlas Copco, amajor international company, she shows that true leadership development can only take place by passing the initiative to the employees and calmly trusting in their drive. All the executives at different levels, different functions and in different countries make up one of the cogs in the process that is the open internal job market. Their will to contribute to group-wide goals by coaching their employees to take the right steps in their careers, such as leaving one position to take another within the group is a determining factor. Mature directors realize that internal mobility fosters the dynamics of a long-term perspective. When the best employee leaves, the opportunity arises to rearrange the organization, to renew and-in fact, to recruit an employee who will eventually prove to be even better. Today's search for ready-made directors lies like a wet blanket over all the potential that exists in untested individuals: Individuals who sincerely want to contribute in interesting, meaningful contexts; Individuals who are driven not by careers and recognition but more by curiosity and dedication; Individuals who are visionaries and understand the significance of a well-balanced organization; Individuals who are motivated by more than just money to contribute. Marianne Hamilton was the Senior VP Organizational Development & Management Resources for the Atlas Copco Group and was a member of senior management since the spring of 1991 until the summer of 2007. Today, she sits on the board of Meda AB, a specialty pharma company and Alecta, an occupational pension specialist.