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Agile, resilient leadership to build a better tomorrow

Strategic need: To deliver the strategic objectives of the organization, World Vision identified they had less than half the people required who were ready to fulfill senior leadership roles. The strategic need of Potentialife was to close that gap by investing in today’s high-potential regional leads to ensure they had the resilience, non-technical leadership skills and lifelong-learning mindset required to lead the organization in the future.

Population: 50 regional leaders, who were instrumental in delivering World Vision’s mission on the front line. The leaders were also best placed to lead the overall organization into the future.

Impact:  Every area of leadership behaviors on the SHARP framework improved. World Vision chose to reinvest in the program, and the leaders who had participated in the first program volunteered to become mentors for the next group, adding a new level to their leadership journey in the organization. 

Can leadership development be relevant for not-for-profits?


As one of the leading not-for-profits in the world, World Vision’s people operate in extraordinarily difficult circumstances. From war zones to natural disasters, World Vision support local populations to build a better tomorrow. World Vision’s people are extraordinary – changing lives every day. However this tough, challenging work takes its toll, especially on those who may not have been exposed to any formal leadership development in the past. World Vision needed their people to be resilient, agile, energetic and upbeat in some of the most trying environments in the world. Most importantly, they needed to do this simultaneously across more than a dozen countries in different time zones, while also addressing the specific needs of individuals.  

"We took a big risk. It wasn't what the audience we were selling to expected us to deliver. But they had to trust us, and we had to trust that the program would deliver – and it did!"

Andrea Pink,
World Vision

As a leading not-for-profit, there was a strong focus on insuring the solution developed would equip leaders with real, lasting change, and not require ongoing expenditure on external consultants. From the first meeting, it became clear how Potentialife’s model could facilitate exactly what they needed.

Why was leadership development a priority?

Program Design: 

Potentialife worked with World Vision to design an overall program architecture that would allow future senior leaders to shift from a technical focus to a leadership focus. The focus from a program design point of view was to ensure sustainability of learning. This meant that when formal internal support and participation in the Potentialife program ended, World Vision leaders had lifelong self-sufficiency.

"For the participants, it was an inside-out experience. It got them engaged, to understand themselves and made them more aware and resilient for leadership"

Andrea Pink,
World Vision


How did Potentialife work for World Vision?

"The program had a well-organized, well-structured approach".

Andrea Pink,
World Vision


On every metric in the SHARP framework, the participants from World Vision recorded significant improvements. Participants discovered new strengths during the program in line with the future leadership needs of World Vision that were separate from their areas of  technical expertise. Specifically, participants demonstrated an increase in their "time exercising strengths" from 52% to 83%. Similarly, for "peak performance zone", the participant results improved from 46% to 79%. 

World Vision participants gained lifelong skills during the program, allowing them to act and react with agility and intuitiveness to problems faced after the official program had ended. This was crucial to the World Vision's strategic objective of developing "leaders for the future". 


"The single best thing? It worked!"

Andrea Pink,
World Vision