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Challenge: Barclays needed to accelerate the development of their people in order to expand their leadership pipeline and assist their next generation of leaders to transition from highly specialised, technical roles into leadership positions.

Solution: The personalised modules were combined with 1:1 and group coaching. Senior leaders within the company shared their own leadership stories, acting as role-models to those undertaking the program.

Impact: The strengths based approach proved revolutionary, resulting in a more confident, energetic and passionate workforce. Following completion of the program, 40% of participants were promoted into leadership roles.

What was needed to develop leaders at Barclays?


As a leading global bank, Barclays prides itself on the quality of its people. In order to enable the transition of high potential talent into leadership roles – Barclays turned to Potentialife to see how their next generation of leaders could be identified and nurtured to achieve peak-performance. Over 375 individuals were identified as high-potential talent across 7 cities in Africa. An approach combining innovation and scalability was essential to help program participants transition from highly specialised, technical roles into leadership positions

"This is really about developing the young leaders that we have in our business. Identifying talent and giving them the opportunity to develop leadership capabilities to the benefits of themselves and the firm"

Andrew Whitty
Barclays Africa


What made Potentialife different?


Potentialife and Barclays designed the program with an emphasis on changing behavior and leadership capabilities in a range of teams. To develop their high-potential talent, Potentialife and Barclays designed a program integrating high-touch with high-tech. Through our technology platform, behaviour change and social learning was complemented with 1:1 and group coaching. We ensured organizational context and values were integrated seamlessly into the program. The program was structured around the concept of “leaders building leaders” – this involved mentoring sessions with senior leaders who told their own leadership story as role-models to those undertaking the program.

"It’s not theoretical, it is about how do I change my leadership behavior"

Eva Gush
Young Talent Lead, Barclays Africa

How has the program impacted Barclays?

"Other programs tried to change what I think. Potentialife has changed what I do"

Eva Gush
Young Talent Lead, Barclays Africa


Significant improvements across all measures of the SHARP framework, which demonstrated tangible behavioral change.

On an individual level the strengths-focused approach was a “game-changer”. With a 27% increase in time spent exercising strengths participants were showing more confidence, energy and passion in their work.

On a team level, participants saw an increase of 19% in positive interactions and 15% in authentic interactions. This translates to an enhanced focus on collaboration and building networks across the organization. These teams exhibited a more intentional approach with a focus on “leaning into challenges” and finding solutions.

"Potentialife has become a key component of how we develop our top talent – it is integral to our succession planning. Over 40% of participants have been promoted since doing the program – that’s way higher than we we’d expect"

Eva Gush
Young Talent Lead, Barclays Africa