In my opinion, composition of workforce is a major factor in determining the company’s ability to produce future leaders. There are several reasons for this point of view. Firstly, management consulting firms or other companies with similar composition of workforce have a larger portion of employees that are already close to the CEO position. Holding managerial positions, they have abilities, skills, knowledge, and situation-specific experience that are directly related to leadership functions required to run a company successfully. Secondly, managers have a much better professional network within an industry than lower-level workers. As a result, they are well informed about job opportunities that open on the market and have a developed reputation combined with a pool of respectable references who can confirm their competence. Finally, managers that work in management consulting tend to know how to do things right. This industry requires them to maintain awareness of the best practices in effective strategic management and organizational performance improvement.
Leadership factories can be either good or bad places for non-leaders to work, and, as far as I am concerned, this chiefly depends on non-leaders themselves and their goals. If such employees willingly decided that they don’t want to become leaders, and prefer to perform their routine job without any major stress and challenges, leadership factory is not the most suitable place for them. Leadership factories tend to have a result- and development-oriented organizational cultures, with a major focus on initiative, extraversion, openness to experience and conscientiousness. Employees that lack these qualities or are unmotivated to develop them will just feel out of place and perform poorly. However, non-leaders that want to improve their leadership skills may find such companies to be incredibly helpful. Effective coaching and mentoring are inherent for the majority of leadership factories, making them a great workplace for motivated non-leaders to develop and grow.
If the two companies that offered me jobs would be highly similar in terms of their industry, workforce composition, market share, reputation, and other aspects, and would differ only in odds of producing CEOs, naturally my decision would be affected by this factor. Most people, me included, want to manage a company as a CEO or open their own business. If a company has an organizational culture that fosters vital leadership skills and encourages constant development, and it is reflected in its ability to produce CEOs, I would definitely choose this company, even if the compensation package would be less attractive. I strive to unlock my potential as much as possible, and my company of choice will respect that fact and support my development. These factors are much more important for me than money or benefits.