Leadership Potential and Succession Planning
Succession planning is about discovering and
developing leadership potential. It is about being prepared for change, but
also embracing change. Succession planning is about leadership
development. Fortunately, there is actually a great deal known about how
to select leaders. There are now
well over 10,000 books, articles, and presentations on leadership, and some
reasonable consensus has emerged about the key issues related to this important
topic. But let's first start with a great definition:
"Persuading others to
transcend their personal concerns and to pursue a collective goal that is
meaningful for a group and that will further their collective welfare; it is
persuasion, not domination; it involves creating cohesive and mission-oriented
teams; and effective leadership has a direct causal relationship to team
PREDICTORS OF LEADERSHIP
strongly suggests the following set of predictors as the most reliable and valid
indicators of leadership potential.
The actual performance of the candidate’s
team or organizational unit.
we must evaluate real-time performance data to aide in determining whether
someone will make a good leader.
Peer, supervisor, and subordinate feedback on
the candidate’s effectiveness has high predictive validity.
For example, it’s been demonstrated that subordinate ratings are as
effective as (and much less expensive than) assessment center data in predicting
managerial performance seven years later.
we must include 360° feedback instruments as a key component of the assessment
presence of derailment factors in the candidate’s profile.
it is important to look for tendencies to over control, exploit, micro-manage,
resist using appropriate consequences, or to be arrogant, political,
egotistical, irritable, passive-aggressive, vindictive, abrasive, insensitive,
or aloof. All are proven
correlates of managerial careers that flounder, stall, or derail.
Cognitive ability and an additional five
personality characteristics account for the most variance in leadership
effectiveness. Therefore, we must measure the following
this person have a broad range of interests? Is the person
creative, broad-minded, curious, open to experience?
- Is this person prudent,
motivated to achieve, organized and responsible? Does this person have a
strong work ethic built around integrity?
- Can this person be described as extraverted, assertive, full of
high-energy, a fluent speaker, looking to advance, an eager decision maker, and
persuasive – is the person "leader-like?"
- Can this person be described as self-confident,
self-accepting, balanced, stress resistant, tolerant of uncertainty, graceful
under pressure, flexible, and effective at handling conflict and negative
- Is this person diplomatic,
cooperative, empathic, friendly, an effective communicator, trusting, and
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