What We’ve Learned Watching Your Leaders Grow During Bridge the Gap

by Bluewater Advisory

May 20, 2024

In meeting after meeting we heard executives say, “We have a real problem in getting our next generation of leaders ready to take over because our senior leaders don’t have the time or the desire to mentor and train them. We have tried everything, and we just don’t know what to do but we know time is running out.” So, a year and a half ago, we set out on a mission to close the gap between those getting ready to retire and those who need to step into their shoes.  Eight months into our first cohorts of Bridge the Gap and I can proudly say, it is making the difference we intended (and you needed) it to make.

Here’s what we have learned from working with your leaders over the last eight months:

  1. Leaders want to grow into the leaders they know they can become and that you need them to become.

Each session, we see leaders show up more engaged than they were the session before. Our discussions are meaningful and it’s clear that leaders are hungry to learn more about how to perform at the top level for their organizations.

  1. Continual self-awareness, leadership support and strategic attention drastically increases critical and strategic thinking skills in leaders.

With consistent and intentional content, attention and discussion in each session, we see the leaders look more deeply at how they operate, what is working well in their leadership, where they need to grow, and develop a plan to grow in those areas.

  1. What got you here, won’t get them there.

Our ever-expanding work environments, the continued growth of AI and the need for leaders to think more critically and adapt more quickly than ever is crucial to the future success of companies. We don’t know what the future will look like, but we know we won’t be dealing with the same issues leaders dealt with 15, 10 or even 5 years ago. Sharing legacy knowledge, experience and building support for leaders is critical to their success, but we also must help them grow into the leaders of the future. Pairing participants with a tenured mentor alongside an executive coach results in expanding their perspectives from what has worked in the past, growing legacy knowledge and skills while challenging them to look for future alternatives, new solutions and recognizing their areas of growth.

  1. (Unsurprisingly) Dedicated time to working on development of leadership allows leaders to grow more quickly and intentionally in ways that matter.

It can be difficult for leaders to consistently find time to work on themselves, check their progress and hold themselves accountable. However, when leaders have scheduled time and a plan, we see their growth rapidly increase.

  1. When you invest in leaders at the top level, they invest in the leaders below them.

Often times, younger leaders get a bad rap for not being willing to put in the work to grow themselves into leaders of the future. Our experience during Bridge the Gap says something different. We are continually impressed by the growth these leaders have shown, the dedication they are putting in to growing themselves and their teams, and the willingness to find ways to ensure their companies succeed now and in the future.

From our perspective, the future of leadership looks bright for those companies tackling their leadership transitions head on, making a plan and investing in their leaders. If you find yourself needing to prepare the next generation of leaders in your organization, Bridge the Gap may be just the program for you. Reach out to learn more about our next cohort that starts in July!

Lindsey Weigle,
Managing Partner