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Senior Director, Talent and Leadership Development

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.


Serve as a thought leader and strategic lead for field leadership development and talent management, supporting the development of leaders throughout their career at Northwestern Mutual.  Leveraging deep leadership development experience, support the creation, execution, and refinement of industry leading leadership development programs, ensuring the success of the field force. 

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Leads field talent and leadership strategy by recognizing and aligning key dependencies and constituencies including leadership, performance management, rewards, learning and development, home office HR and practice management.
  • Partners with leaders to identify needs and gaps for leadership roles, diversity, bench talent, and other strategic talent segments.
  • Develops the talent review and succession strategy, system, and process. Collaborates with performance team, DI, leadership development and leadership to define strategic talent needs and identify high potential talent.
  • Develops DI training strategy aligned to Field DI programs and initiatives, building a cohesive strategy with a consistent approach – ensures alignment with Field LD strategy.
  • Develops strong partnerships with key stakeholders and utilizes influencing capabilities to implement streamlined leadership development and talent management solutions that are systemic and scalable to enhance employee performance and organizational capability.
  • Develops and facilitates change management plans to support the implementation and sustainability of organization wide programs, sensitive to varying degrees of office readiness and infrastructure.
  • Defines, develops and communicates metrics in partnership with performance team and DI team.
  • Leads and participates in cross-functional boards/committees to provide insight on learning and talent development solutions, ensure alignment, and gain insight on business strategies and corresponding learning and talent needs.
  • Accountable for a full range of people leader responsibilities.
  • Serve as a member of the Field Learning and Development leadership team, supporting the development and execution of our learning philosophy, strategy, and objectives to support CD and our sales force.


  • Bachelor's degree in business, talent management, organization effectiveness or a related field or an equivalent combination of professional related work experience.
  • Minimum of 10 years professional experience with 5+ years of experience in leadership development, talent management and/or 5+ years in a distribution leadership function.
  • Demonstrated understanding of models, theories, and practices in the field of learning, organization consulting, leadership development, and talent management.
  • Experience leading enterprise-wide initiatives, from conception and design through implementation, measurement and continuous improvement.
  • Highly adaptable and flexible with a strong learning ability.
  • Solutions-oriented with the ability to develop innovative approaches to learning.
  • Strong business acumen to translate business needs and strategies into defined talent pipelines.
  • Proven capability to engage and influence top management decisions.
  • Ability to facilitate consistency, sustained improvements and enable business outcomes.
  • Exceptional communication and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead, direct, negotiate and influence with and without direct authority at all levels of an organization.
  • Ability to provide innovative and creative solutions to business problems and continuously raising the bar for new and different methods to support learning and business objectives.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead others through change in a fast paced, matrixed organization.

Skills-Proficiency Level:

Co-Creation - Advanced
Complex Negotiations - Expert
Consulting - Expert
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) - Expert
Facilitating Learning - Expert
Field Consulting - Advanced
Identifying Training Needs - Advanced
Incentive Compensation - Advanced
Leadership Training and Development - Advanced
Organizational Development (OD) - Advanced
Talent Development - Expert
Talent Mobility - Advanced
Talent Reviews - Advanced
Talent Management - Advanced

This job is not covered by the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Required Certifications:

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We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.


We’re excited about the potential people bring to Northwestern Mutual. You can grow your career here while enjoying first-class perks, benefits, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.