How to Better Predict Leadership Potential

How to Better Predict Leadership Potential
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Effective Leaders Are Few and Far Between – Better Predict Leadership Potential
Being an effective leader is not easy. For those of us who have experienced bad bosses, the data below is not surprising.

  • Forbes recently reported that 82% of employees do not trust their boss to tell the truth.
  • The Wall Street Journal recently reported that over 50% of employees quit their job because of their boss.
  • Research by the International Association of Applied Psychology indicates that up to 60% of leaders act destructively and cost their company’s millions.

And predicting leadership potential is often even harder than being an effective leader.

The Truth About Predicting Leadership Potential
In trying to predict leadership potential, some organizations fall prey to unconscious bias, others mistakenly rely on stand-alone personality assessments, and still others do not have the data or comparative benchmarks to properly identify, select, or develop future leaders.

Certain overarching leadership personality traits help many leaders be successful. But the truth is that some people have a much better chance of becoming an effective leader in your unique environment than others.

One of the best predictors of leadership potential within a company is the speed with which employees move up through the ranks to more strategic leadership roles. In fact, this metric, which we call Career Advancement, matters more than either job performance or job engagement. And two Career Advancement predictors, when combined, matter the most:

  1. Learning Orientation
    Learning orientation refers to one’s attitude and approach to learning. High scorers are more curious, more open to change, relish solving problems, and take a more thoughtful, methodical, and diligent approach to learning and continuous improvement. Low scorers tend to struggle with learning.
  2. Learning Aptitude
    Learning aptitude refers to one’s natural ability to learn. High scorers are better and faster at recognizing patterns, absorbing new information, and applying them on-the-job. Low scorers tend to need more time to process new information and learn new skills.

Not only does the combination of Learning Orientation and Learning Aptitude accurately predict Career Advancement, but it also predicts stronger performance and higher levels of employee engagement.

The Bottom Line
The next time you face hiring or promoting a leader or need to conduct a talent review, rely on a research-backed Leadership Simulation Assessment or a People Manager Assessment Center. This tool will help you more accurately measure leadership readiness, performance, potential, skill gaps, and bench strength for leaders needed in critical roles. Your ability to predict and support leadership potential will increase measurably.

To learn more about what it takes to be a great leader, download 8 Reasons Why Leaders Need 360 Feedback

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