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Empowering the Next Generation:
Harkins Emerging Leaders

By Mike Ebrahimi
Senior Vice President, Construction Operations

In 2012, Harkins engaged The Center for Leadership and Innovation at UMBC Training Centers to develop and implement a customized, three-year Emerging Leaders program (ELP) to unleash the potential in some of the company’s most promising young leaders. Employees are nominated and carefully selected by the Harkins executive team. Over the course of the program, the Emerging Leaders have grown measurably more skillful in key leadership practices, such as organizational accountability, crucial conversations, building effective relationships, LEAN facilitation, team building activities, and delivering effective feedback and feed-forward to name just a few.

The result of this program has been a total cultural transformation with teamwork, collaboration, and accountability at its foundation. Empowering our emerging leaders has had an extraordinary impact on the way we now do business. By combining their talent, outside-the-box and intuitive thinking, constant challenging of the status quo, and expansive use of technology with our executive team have opened unlimited opportunities at Harkins. Additionally, we’ve found the experience of these leaders creates a domino effect that expands throughout the organization.

This program has engaged nearly 50 leaders in our organization over the past six years, with the third ELP group now underway. Because of this program, we are better poised today to lead this company into the next 50 years.