A Manager’s Mini Guide To Identifying and Assessing Leadership Potential | Allan Church via Training Industry

Talent Management

Many organizations conduct a talent review process—where one goal is to accurately identify (and develop) employees with the greatest leadership potential. However, determining leadership potential can be difficult and is fraught with challenges, ranging from biases to invalid selection criteria. To help organizations more effectively differentiate “potential,” this article by Allan Church distinguishes three categories of potential: 1) General potential. All employees have the potential to grow at some level and should be developed to reach their potential. However, this type of potential should be distinct from more exclusive aspects of potential, including 2) Destination potential, which is tied explicitly to talent management and succession planning efforts. It reflects a preparedness for a targeted senior leadership role or destination. 3) Leadership potential is the clear indicator or predictor of future leadership effectiveness at higher levels in the company. Allan points to a strong body of research showing there are three critical dimensions on which leadership potential criteria are based: 1) Foundational (refers to personality characteristics future leaders must have, derailers to avoid, and “smarts” needed), 2) Growth (refers to indicators of learning orientation, capability for growth, and the drive and energy required at more senior levels), and 3) Career (refers to standard leadership competencies and key functional skills required at higher levels of leadership). For additional information on this 3-component framework and the research behind it, check out the Leadership Potential Blueprint by Allan and Rob Silzer.