How can organizations take the guesswork out of who will grow into a successful executive? First, start with an accurate picture of the whole person, not just a snapshot of their job performance today. Second, analyze that picture with the knowledge of what correlates to success.

Korn Ferry has distilled these indicators of high-potential for leadership into seven categories—each of which can be accurately assessed and quantified:

  • Track record of formative experiences
  • Ability to learn from experience
  • Self-awareness
  • Leadership disposition
  • Motivation to be a leader
  • Aptitude for logic and reasoning
  • Managed derailment risks

The clearer the positive signal on each of these attributes, the better the odds for superior performance. Indeed, what is the other option? Wait and see who has the skills to succeed only after they are already put in leadership roles? Armed with deep knowledge about potential, companies essentially have counted the cards before placing their bets on talent.

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