Emerging Leader Program

You Don’t Have to Be a Leader to Lead

Leadership is more than a title. But your talented employees still wonder how they can lead without one. How can they show that they’re ready for the next step? What does staying with your company mean for their career growth?

Attracting, developing, and retaining the next generation of leaders is a top concern of CEOs. But it’s up to HR to help employees lead informally, often without the influence of a formal leadership role.

While you might not be able to promote them immediately, employees should know you’re investing in their growth. That’s why emerging leader programs are critical in improving employee performance and building a strong, capable bench of your future frontline leaders.

By The Numbers

Emerging Leader Programs Deliver Results

See how our clients see significant impact from their emerging leader programs.


Increased Growth Interest

85% of informal leaders say their DDI leadership development program increased their interest in growing in their company

DDI Impact Evaluations, 2023


Increased Productivity

On average, DDI emerging leader programs led to a 76% increase in team productivity

DDI Impact Evaluations, 2023


Intend to Leave Company

Only 11% of emerging leader program participants intend to leave their company in the next 12 months, compared to 70% of employees overall who intend to leave

DDI Impact Evaluations, 2023; LinkedIn Report, July 2023

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How We Can Help Your Emerging Leaders

The secret to developing emerging leaders is helping them gain skills they can apply right away—and without a title. But here’s the tricky part: Everything they learn must be part of a common leadership language that puts emerging and frontline leaders on the same page. That way, if they make the jump to a formal leadership role, they can hit the ground running.

DDI’s emerging leader programs are designed to blend with our frontline leader content. We use the same leadership models, concepts, and tools, but have designed them specifically for individual contributors.

With the right development under their belts, these leaders will learn to show leadership across a range of situations. And before you know it, they’ll be ready to take on direct reports.

What Skills Do Emerging Leaders Need?

Emerging leaders need to practice core interpersonal skills to become more effective in their current roles and prepare for future roles. Here are a few examples of valuable skills that emerging leaders should develop:

  • Communicating with impact
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Leading meetings effectively
  • Networking to improve collaboration
  • Embracing change
  • Contributing to an inclusive environment
  • Influencing others

Explore emerging leader courses

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Sample Learning Journey

Imagine What Your Program Could Accomplish

How do you create an emerging leader program that develops people for success now and as future managers? Explore our sample learning journey of core leadership skills that employees can use right away to lead meetings, teams, or projects.

This example shows our blended learning approach that leverages both formal courses and self-paced online learning. We can align with your organization’s strategy, whether you’re looking to build connection through group learning or scale faster with self-paced options.

View sample
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A Personalized and Scalable Solution

For most of our clients, emerging leaders form a large group that can be hard to reach at scale. But this doesn’t change the fact that these top performers have high expectations for development. And while they enjoy self-paced digital learning, they don’t want to explore every development topic on their own.

Emerging leaders want guidance so they can make impact fast. DDI’s My Pathway: Leadership Core offers a personalized experience to help them tailor their focus. Guided by insights about their personal leadership style and capabilities, emerging leaders can quickly focus on accelerating their development and sharing their progress.

Your Emerging Leader Program Is Within Reach

At DDI, we believe leadership development should be a way of work, something leaders do regularly, on their own and in group settings. And this is especially true for rising leaders.

These employees need to have access to learning that meets their needs in the moment. They also need development that helps them progress from informal to formal leadership roles. But that can require a lot of time and effort from HR.

We make it easy. With a DDI Leadership Development Subscription, you can support individual contributors now and as they grow, all with one solution. No additional contracts. No additional administration. Just continuous growth for your emerging leaders. 

Explore our subscriptions