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DDI Launches Leadership 480 to Tackle Leaders’ Biggest Problem: Time

May 20, 2019

Leadership 480 is DDI’s new strategic framework to help clients invest their time wisely to hire, promote, and develop exceptional leaders at every level

PITTSBURGH – It turned out to be impossible to create a 25th hour in the day. Instead, DDI created Leadership 480SM, a groundbreaking leadership framework that helps companies invest time strategically to hire, promote, and develop exceptional leaders at every level.

“Leadership 480 is designed to change the way you think about time and leadership,” said Tacy Byham, Ph.D., CEO of DDI. “As the pace of business increases, time pressure makes it much harder to make good leadership decisions, which is counterproductive to achieving meaningful results. Leadership 480 puts focus on achieving higher goals, as individuals and as organizations, by making better decisions in every critical moment of leadership, from small minutes of interaction to daily business decisions to periods of career transformation.”

The Leadership 480 framework is built on the fundamental need to maximize the use of a limited amount of time, both at the organizational level and for individual leaders. As a reminder of that limit, DDI anchors its approach on the number 480, which has meaningful implications across three horizons of time: 480 minutes in a day, 480 work days in a two-year business cycle, and 480 months across a 40-year career.

“Time is our most precious resource, and the one that most easily slips away,” said Byham. “We break down critical time horizons into these smaller segments because we need to make every moment of leadership count to reach our business goals, professional goals, and life goals.”

480 Minutes: Build the Core Leadership Skills Every Leader Needs

Every work day, leaders have 480 minutes to make a difference. In their minute-to-minute interactions with others, leaders have their greatest impact – either positive or negative. To be effective in these small but critical daily moments, every leader needs to develop essential leadership skills that will help them connect with and motivate others.

DDI’s Core 480 SM program is a specially designed program to build the essential skills that every leader needs to be successful in their daily interactions. Core 480 includes two highly engaging courses on communication and coaching that help leaders:

  • Build emotional intelligence
  • Practice active and authentic listening
  • Have purposeful conversations
  • Adopt a growth mindset
  • Apply a practical model for successful coaching discussions

Recognizing that every leader approaches their work with a set of personal needs and motivations as well as their professional skills, the courses are designed to engage leaders’ heads and hearts, relating to both their individual experiences as well as the culture and values of the organization.

Using cutting-edge instructional design principles, the courses give leaders a personalized experience with powerful self-insight tools that help them understand their own personality and tendencies. The courses also guide leaders to learn by doing, rather than by simply receiving instruction.

Outside the classroom, the Core 480 program includes a set of microcourses that focus on skills such as building relationships, the power of seeking, and promoting a coaching culture. In addition, leaders receive personalized online experience to reinforce learning through DDI’s Pinpoint learning experience platform, which includes tools such as a chatbot to practice skills, coaching simulations, planners for tough conversations, games and more.

“With our Core 480 program, we make the most of every moment of learning, whether spent in the classroom, online, or in practice,” said Byham.

Discover DDI’s Core 480 program.

480 Work Days: Meet Business Challenges in the Next Two Years

When companies set their business priorities for their two-year business cycle, they often fail to ask a crucial question: Are our leaders equipped to meet these challenges?

In a two-year period, there are only about 480 work days to accomplish those priorities. Whether the goal is to drive change or increase diversity and inclusion, leaders need to be using each day to push forward toward those goals. Otherwise, they end up falling short on quarterly goals, and ultimately, failing to meet larger annual goals.

To address those needs, DDI offers thoughtfully designed leadership development programs that help leaders meet their business challenges in the next 480 work days. Examples of these Challenge 480SM programs include targeted development to:

  • Drive organizational change
  • Create a coaching culture
  • Embrace diversity and inclusion
  • Build a high-performance culture

DDI also builds Challenge 480 programs customized to individual client business needs.

Learn more about DDI’s Challenge 480 programs.

480 Months: Create High-Impact Leadership Careers

With intense focus on meeting day-to-day needs and short-term business goals, the longer-term goals of career planning often take lower priority. At the individual level, that often means that people either find themselves frustratingly stalled in their careers, or thrust into positions they aren’t prepared for. At the organizational level, the lack of attention to leadership level changes means that they don’t have enough leaders in terms of quantity or quality to step up into critical open positions.

DDI’s Career 480 approach breaks down 40-year careers into 480 months to help organizations think more strategically about the quality of leaders they have at every level, and how they are supporting them in the critical months leading up to and following big transitions in their careers. DDI’s Career 480SM approach is based on two fundamental pillars:

  • Hire and promote with insight: The most important question of any leadership transition is whether the person is right for the role. DDI offers objective assessments at every level to help companies make unbiased decisions about who is ready right now for a promotion, who has the potential for future roles, and the specific areas to focus on in development.
  • Develop with purpose: Once the right people have been identified, it’s important to help them develop for the specific challenges of the role ahead, whether it’s becoming a first-time manager, shifting into a mid-level role, or entering the C-suite. This development should be done with purpose over a period of months both leading up to and following the transition.

Explore DDI’s Career 480 suite of services.

About DDI

DDI is a global leadership consulting firm that helps organizations hire, promote and develop exceptional leaders. From first-time managers to C-suite executives, DDI is by leaders’ sides, supporting them in every critical moment of leadership. Built on five decades of research and experience in the science of leadership, DDI’s evidence-based assessment and development solutions enable millions of leaders around the world to succeed, propelling their organizations to new heights. For more information, visit