Better Identify High Potentials (HiPo’s)
We define high potential employees as the most talented 5-10% of an organization. If you want to better identify high potentials, from our perspective, HiPo’s:
Someone could make a fortune if there were an invention that could clearly discern potential—whether or not a “pawn” employee has what it takes to become a king.
Challenges of Identifying High Potentials (HiPo’s)
One of the problems in identifying high potential employees is that too many of us measure future potential by current and past performance. This is a mistake. An employee who excels in one job may not have the ability or the desire to excel in another.
How many top engineers have you seen promoted into management who fail miserably in their new role? And it was most likely not their fault. They probably had no preparation for becoming a new manager. They had the analytical and problem solving skills that served them well in their previous position but not the leadership, decision making, or communication skills they needed to successfully lead a team.
Pitfalls of Not Identifying High Potentials (HiPo’s)
Conversely, failing to identify, develop and promote HiPo’s can lead to increased attrition and succession planning problems. Our annual employee engagement research found that almost one-third of high-potential employees are looking for new jobs. Can your company afford that?
Guidelines to Select High Potentials (HiPo’s)
So if you can’t predict success from an employee’s current or past track record, what guidelines are there to help you select those high-potentials worthy of grooming for leadership positions? As a bare minimum, the employee should want the leadership position and be willing to do whatever it takes to earn and secure it. You also want to be sure of the employee’s commitment to the organization. They should be highly engaged in the company’s mission and totally committed to and representative of the company’s core values.
Once you have a preliminary list of likely HiPo candidates, you need to measure them against a proven leadership profile of the critical few competencies you and your team have determined are essential for future success at your company based upon your unique business strategy and corporate culture.
The Six Most Common Traits
While each company and organizational culture is different, here are six of the most common traits our high performance clients consider when they are looking to develop a group of high potentials. These are clients who understand the importance of planning for the future. The best leaders know that it is in the best interests of the company to select and prepare their successors.
Look for candidates who are:
High performing leaders are not content to just wait and watch others. They understand the bigger strategic picture and thrive on taking smart, meaningful and aligned actions to succeed. They often take charge to make positive things happen with those around them and are seen as a “go to” resource to help move things forward in a way that makes sense.
2. Good Decision Makers
High performing leaders need to be able to view all the pros and cons of an issue and still reach a good decision they and their teams can stick to. HiPo’s are able to do this quickly, decisively, and with minimal information while balancing vested interests and emotional attachments.
3. Trusted and Trustworthy
High performing leaders consistently inspire trust from their peers and followers because of their high integrity, consistent willingness to listen to opposing views without repercussions, and perceived fairness in dealing with others.
4. Excellent Communicators
High performing leaders know how to clearly articulate an idea, vision or plan that inspires others. They are persuasive and often charismatic. But in addition to advocating a compelling point of view, they also know how to truly listen…both to receive feedback and to understand another’s point of view.
High performing leaders skillfully adapt with equanimity to changing circumstances. They thrive at understanding how each of their team members works best and adapt their leadership style accordingly. Flexible leaders consistently tap into each person’s true potential and raise the performance bar for their team by playing to people’s strengths.
6. Goal- and Future-oriented
High performing leaders know how to plan for the future and keep focused on what matters most. They do not fall prey to the “fad of the month.” They do not shift priorities or lower expectations when challenges arise. And they do not play politics or favorites. Quite the contrary. High performing leaders clearly set where the team needs to head, hold their team accountable and ensure that information flow across their team is timely.
The Bottom Line
There may well be other characteristics that you want to include to better identify high potentials in your specific high performance leader profile that is designed for your unique strategy and organizational culture. Remember not to look just at current performance but at the whole person who exhibits leadership qualities but perhaps has not yet had the time or the experience to fully develop them. That’s what “potential” is all about.
To learn more how to better identify high potentials, download The Top Skills for High Performing Leaders
4 Steps to Create Strategic Alignment
We have worked with LSA Global for our learning and development needs and have always had great success. They helped us recently with customized Management Workshops that we held for the second time. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend LSA to anyone that is attempting to get immediate and impactful improvements.
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics
We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.
Vice President, Human Resources
Hyperion has a commitment to lifelong learning. LSA helps us provide the right business sales training, management training programs, and leadership development programs at the right time to meet the needs of both individuals and departments. I especially appreciate their ability to listen to my needs and recommend the appropriate facilitators, solutions and content.
Senior Project Manager
Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.
President and Chief Executive Office
I highly recommend LSA Global to anyone who is looking to improve individual or organizational effectiveness through their top quality programs and broad range of expertise.
VP of Human Resources
LSA Global’s consultant brought a fresh perspective to our behavioral based interviewing strategy for two key executive positions we needed to fill, and their consultant helped us develop questions that produced a much deeper understanding of candidates’ capabilities. I am confident that the two new executives joining our organization have the right skills to add significant value. Throughout the process LSA was also very responsive in dealing with short lead time requests.
Because of the unique nature of our business, Excel is a core application in our accounting organization. After three attempts to find an Excel consultant who is capable of helping our finance team integrate advanced applications into our work processes we found LSA and Alex. He was not only a “Real” Excel expert but was masterful in helping us identify where to use Excel applications in our processes to increase our group’s efficiency.
SPO Partners & Co
Kim Silva, CFO
I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.
Director, Team Development
Each program is preceded by an assessment of the participants. The course is then designed to fit the specific parameters and needs of the group. The highly interactive delivery is provided by recognized experts in their fields. On the spot coaching is provided during the program and each participant receives individual follow-up after the course. Courses can be delivered in-person or virtually. Given the nature of Cisco’s business and the way we operate, these remote workshops are a must for anyone who joins our company. Their work is eye opening. Great content and fantastic delivery.
Frank J. Kuypers
Business Development Manager
We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development
We contacted LSA to help us with customized management development. LSA worked with me to identify a solution that would meet our exact needs. We decided to start at the top and ran the program for our executive team. It was such a great success that we hope to roll it out companywide. We look forward to a long-term partnership with LSA Global and their team of experts.
Barry L. Byrd, SPHR
Human Resources Manager
LSA has been a tremendous asset to my portfolio, both at my current company and my past company. As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide a solution to our management training needs. LSA does that for me. Their solutions are presented in a much more leadership-oriented manner so as to be crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply right back on the job. I will continue to augment our programs using LSA solutions.
VP of Human Resources
LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.
Vice President, HR and IT
LSA has become the gold standard in team building and management training at Genomic Health! I have a hard time finding facilitators that come close to their level of customization, expertise and experience.
Director of Human Resources
I’ve partnered with LSA Global at two companies now, and I consider them a valuable and trusted training and consulting resource. They recommended just the right solution to address our management development needs and have wonderful facilitators that match YuMe’s culture and style of our management team. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions with a valuable learning and development partner.
Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.
Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations? Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.
Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.
First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.
Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.
Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.