The Art of Leadership: Uncovering Three P&G Secrets to People Development

Find out what’s behind P&G’s long-standing reputation as an academy for future CEOs.

Silhouettes of P&G employees walking in front of windows.

P&G’s secret to developing successful leaders isn’t its development programs, according to Ann Schulte, Chief Learning Officer.

“It’s the ingrained commitment to leadership development that makes the difference,” she said. This commitment is the red thread in the unique combination of leadership training, manager coaching, relationship building and varied work experiences that leaders gain throughout their career at P&G that is the secret sauce.

“It's a partnership between you, your manager and the Company,” Schulte said.

“At P&G, we’re really making a commitment to grow you in a direction that is of interest to you, that capitalizes on your skills and strengths, and that allows you to live up to your best potential while helping the business grow.”

It Starts with Intention

P&G is a build-from-within company. It’s not unusual to find P&G executives who joined the Company right out of school and have built a 30-year career here.

A man with short dark hair crosses his arms and smiles directly at the camera. He is wearing a light blue shirt with a dark blue tie with red spots.

Bala Purushothaman, Chief Human Resources Officer, is one of those executives and said this development culture is intentional.

P&G’s commitment to attracting, retaining and developing talent is a fundamental business choice. That choice includes hiring outstanding talent, challenging people from Day 1, planning careers and nurturing a culture of development.

- Bala Purushothaman,

Chief Human Resources Officer

A bright red border frames white, red and black text that says "Time Best Companies for Future Leaders."

TIME, Forbes and the Drucker Institute recently recognized P&G’s legacy of leadership development.

Fostering Career Mobility

A rigorous selection and hiring process lays the groundwork for developing so many leaders. “We hire really smart people with a strong aptitude for learning,” explained Schulte.

Once hired, it’s up to employees and their managers to craft their career journeys, matching interests and strengths with business needs. Employees have the opportunity to learn and apply their skills in various industry segments. Some choose to specialize, others become deep generalists and even try assignments in different functions, essentially enjoying what feels like multiple careers within one career with P&G.

Continuous Learning Equals Mutual Success

A logo features three round circles. The blue Procter and Gamble logo, a pink circle with Me in white text, and a pink equal symbol with "Mutual Success" circling it.

Learning and development is at the heart of P&G’s commitment to providing a superior employee experience. P&G’s employee value equation, P&G + ME = Mutual Success, reinforces how employees and the Company work together to benefit the growth of both.

“We believe that continuous learning throughout your career is a competitive imperative for the mutual success of the individual and the Company,” said Schulte.

LEARN MORE: P&G + Me = Mutual Success: Delivering a Superior Employee Value Equation

To that end, P&G has launched a collection of global learning experiences called The Mutual Success Series, designed to inspire growth and accelerate employee impact at key career milestones. The series will support leaders at all stages of their career, from entry level through senior vice president.

But, as Schulte reminds us, continuous learning doesn’t just happen through training programs. It’s a mutual commitment to learning, in all its forms, that’s the secret to P&G’s leadership development success.