For whom is the award intended?

Candidates for the Young Captain Award are young men and women who stand out in their working environment. They are innovative in their style of leadership and work on the basis of a wide, internationally-oriented vision. They have a desire to make active and targeted contributions from their position towards a sustainable society. These are people of whom their business enterprise has great expectations.

Young Captain Award: aim and target group

The Young Captain Award and its two days educational program, the Young Captain Program focus on the next generation of business leaders at the company’s highest executive level. They offer a rewarding experience, a true business challenge, a unique educational opportunity offered in the two days Young Captain Program, and a lasting network of business peers.

The YCA aims to provide a podium for top talented business leaders, one or few steps away from the top, who already distinguish themselves by demonstrating their ability to make the difference for their business and environment.

They have an international mind-set and a clear societal vision, interest and shown impact. Potential candidates for the Young Captain Award are people of whom their organizations have high expectations and are regarded as the decision-makers of the future. The Award implies the promise of future innovative leadership and is intended to encourage the next generation of top leaders.

Every year, the chairmen of leading companies in the Netherlands are invited to nominate a young executive for the Award.

All nominees take part in an exclusive two-day educational programme known as the Young Captain Program. The winner of the Award will be offered a challenging yearlong programme.

An initiative of the Stichting Young Captain Nederland, the Award was presented for the first time in November 2005 and has been bestowed every year since then.

Criteria to present a candidate

Company profile

  • Dutch companies with a minimum turnover of 250 million euro
  • Companies with a clear growth potential to reach that minimum in the near future
  • Stock listed or not
  • Leading family owned companies
  • Foreign companies with a significant presence in the Netherlands

Companies are restricted to one nominee.

Ideal candidate profile

The ideal nominee for the Young Captain Award is someone who is thought to have the potential to reach the BoD/Exec Board in the coming five to ten years, depending on the size of the company.

He or she has shown to be able to build bridges within and outside the organization and to include socio-economic insights in their chosen strategy. He/she will have strong communicative skills, a well-developed personality and a proven impact in their organization. More particularly, he/she will:

  • Have a track record in a managerial position
    Leads a major business unit, operating company or geographical region and is in the sub-top of the company. Stands-out amongst others/peers.
  • Interact directly with top management
    Reports to the top management, or has frequent interaction with the top management, or operates at the level of a manager of a mid-sized company.
  • Have international experience
    Has managed an international team or operated in an international context, with experience of a variety of cultures. He/she thinks in an international context.
  • Have a high level of social engagement
    The nominee has a genuine interest in social issues and is engaged in society.
  • Be younger than 40
    Is not older than 39 when nominated.
  • Be fluent in Dutch
    The nominee has a thorough command of the Dutch language and is preferably Dutch or embedded in Dutch culture and society.

The candidate’s critical leadership capabilities

  • Driving results
    A young captain should at least work to exceed set goals, seizing opportunities to push the envelope. Preferably, he/she makes improvements by seeking to improve processes and implement best-in-class solutions, raising quality and productivity in a calculated way.
  • Purpose driven
    In addition to driving results, he/she is fully connected to societal purpose, is able to create reconciliation and thus drives on the social impact agenda
  • Strategic thinking
    The nominee has to be a clear visionary, who is at the same time able to communicate and translate the vision into action. Preferably, he/she proposes new directions for the business, challenging assumptions and thinking 3-5 years ahead into the next business cycle. More particularly, he/she is digital savvy and thus has a clear understanding of the impact of technology and the digital world on their business and can translate these into business opportunities.
  • Leading change
    A young captain should at least advocate new directions by communicating changes with a clear rationale and appeal. Preferably, he/she is able to influence the organization for change by creating change leaders. He/she also involves key influencers designing and implementing the change initiative, and he/she achieves buy-in by tailoring their efforts to the individual and/or group. He/she is able to build (digital) capabilities and adapt the team/organization to respond to external challenges.
  • Leading people
    A young captain acts as a story teller, telling a clear and consistent story where the business is heading for. In doing so he/she creates a following. He/she inspires people, is value driven, challenges and supports. He/she listens, collaborates and openly debates with the team in order to manage projects and is an inspiring engager by communicating a long-term direction. He/she values the input of different generations. Thus he/she is inclusive, well connected with all generations and knows to attract and retain millennials.
  • Collaborating and influencing
    A young captain can effectively collaborate with a group, adopting a genuine give-and-take approach, where both parties are on an equal footing and decisions are shared. In doing so the nominee should be able to identify and to meet key players and stakeholders and shape common ground. This means engaging in a dialogue to reach a final conclusion comprising in the interest of results as necessary.
  • Building teams
    The nominee develops people over the long term. He/she identifies issues, gives feedback, and supports and enables development. He/she systematically develops employees and teams through stretch assignments with specific competency development goals.

The selection procedure is in the hands of an expert jury and takes place in stages.

Nominate now!

To the adjudication Volgende

Read all about our expert jury and relevant dates.