For organizations seeking the next generation of leaders, it is important to zero in on how to quickly and accurately identify people with leadership potential. How can organizations do this successfully? We know that solely relying on performance or gut instinct can lead many talented people to be overlooked. The best bet? Look for the strong rudders that steer leaders steadily through uncertain, unpredictable, and changing situations.

“When it comes to identifying high potential talent for top leadership pipelines, organizations sometimes have a knowing versus doing gap,” says Ilene Gochman, senior partner and global lead for Korn Ferry’s Assessment and Succession practice. “They know they need to be objective, but they fall back on habits like relying on performance or manager’s opinions.”

By using objective measures, such as a psychometric-based assessment, organizations can accurately identify people with a strong foundation for becoming future leaders. This reduces bias and may result in finding a more plentiful supply of leaders in your pipeline for critical executive roles.

“Harnessing the ‘power of all’ requires identifying people with senior leadership potential early in their careers,” says Jane Stevenson, leader of Korn Ferry’s CEO Succession and Board practice. “Preparing people for executive leadership positions, including CEO, can take 15 to 20 years of purposeful career planning and key development experiences.” This process is facilitated when development efforts are tailored based on assessment results.

In its new report, Identifying High Potential, the Korn Ferry Institute shares its latest research on the markers of high leadership potential. Although not every leader will become a CEO, those with potential can contribute exponentially more to their companies if they are identified and nurtured. And, given today’s hyperchanging, hyperdemanding landscape, the importance of finding and preparing our future leaders has never been more critical.

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