In the Royal Navy of Nelson's era the contexts and experiences that develop leadership talent were supplied without conscious design. In large modern organizations, however, where young managers are often insulated from the elements, such experiences cannot be left to chance.
Organizations should create career paths that expose young managers to new challenges every two to four years and that prepare them to benefit from these assignments. To become skilled in execution, managers should receive timely, specific feedback on their actions, preferably from their peers and mentors. (Feedback delayed is feedback denied.) Effective mentors should be identified, and young managers should be allocated to them for regular discussions.