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What matters the most: Performance or Potential?


Young talented afro American business woman meeting experienced male and female collegues

Ensuring #sustainable #growth and create #value for the shareholders and stakeholders is part of the strategy of each business leader. How does a company define what success means to them? How to #achieve #success, and what drives success in the organization? And, what prevents a company from being successful? These are vital questions each organization needs to answer. Companies worldwide can replicate products and services faster than ever, and companies are putting significant efforts into protecting their intellectual property. But the most important asset of each organization is its People.


People are behind every success.


We help our clients across European countries to attract, recruit and develop leaders. The #quality of leaders in an organization is undoubtedly a vital prerequisite for achieving the company's success. But what does "leader quality" mean? Many organizations cultivate their leaders within, developing their #capabilities and #skills; others focus on developing high-performance leaders; some even stay conservative and invest less than average on this matter.


Following our survey, our clients confirmed that they cultivate leaders within 70% of cases. In 30%, they prefer to hire external leaders with specific skills or experience that the company needs but does not have at the moment or does not have enough time to develop it internally. The leaders from the external market usually enrich the company. Our clients confirm that such #diverse #leadership teams deliver better performance, engagement, customer centricity, manage change better, and bring innovation and a new perspective on some challenges.


Let's take a closer look at what is the desired profile of a #successful #leader. It may be a very subjective and tricky question. For example, a high-performance organizational culture may have a different definition of an ideal leader profile than an organization with conservative and hierarchical company culture. New technologies are changing all industries and markets. Even traditional organizational cultures are starting to change, which also brings these companies to rethink their definition of an ideal leader.


The most desired qualities of the new Leader:


They think #beyond their #comfort zone. Challenge the status quo to bring new perspectives. They #understand the market and the #context. They can assess and manage the risk. They strive to #create #value for the customer. They know how to #communicate and how to listen to people. Cultivate talents within. #Develop and #retain talented people. They invest resources in creating an environment where people can thrive. They create opportunities to grow.

On the other hand, what are the critical challenges for leaders on their development journey? How can they #transform from #managers to #leaders? Is it even possible?

Yes, it is possible.


Anyone with the potential to be a leader can become a leader.


The company needs to understand how to #measure, and #evaluate this potential. The manager and the Leader are not the same.



Each organization needs great leaders and great managers.


#Managers are usually very effective in managing processes in all company functions.

#Leaders help organizations and their people to grow and get to the next level.


Following our research, the Leader must lead. Build #trust. Create an #engaging #environment for the people. The Leader must develop several essential qualities such as solid communication, excellent listening skills, #humility, #empathy, #positivity, #innovation, #passion, #courage, #clarity, #decisiveness, and others.



One afro American women, Hispanic male and Afro American man discussing business results

But qualities and talent are not enough. The Leader needs to demonstrate the performance as well.


There are #external #factors that impact Leaders' development as well. Factors such as organizational #culture, #industry or sector specifics, #market situation, geographical #region, and others play an essential role in shaping leadership qualities. For example, leaders must develop a strong focus on #innovation, #agility, #adaptation in the IT and high tech industry. Services-oriented organizations need leaders with a strong customer centricity focus. Leaders driving mergers & acquisitions need to rely on solid risk assessment, risk-taking, and #change management skills. Leaders leading international organizations on a regional or global scale need to #understand, and #embrace each region's cultural specifics to understand better the culture, habits, and other specifics of their people and customers.


Another critical success factor in developing leaders is the way how to do it.


So there is not a one size fits all solution in developing great Leaders. Each organization should consider both internal and external factors while developing the future Leader. Each individual is #unique. Therefore, organizations should measure, evaluate talent and performance, and create a tailor-made personalized executive development program to help each close their #gaps and develop their #best.


One size fits all solutions will not help your organization to develop great leaders. Developing your leaders is not a one-time shot. It's highly #interactive and #ongoing. Organizations must provide #opportunities to build diverse skills and enable people to interact in the natural environment. Following our customers, the most significant part of the leadership development, approximately 70%, is an on-the-job experience such as international #assignments, #job #rotations, leading #programs or #projects, and others. This development needs to be supported by coaching, mentoring, and providing feedback. Following our research, traditional core education such as programs and courses represents approximately 10% development.



Performance and Potential of Leaders matter, but organizations must provide opportunities to grow.


What matters the most while developing your future Leader - Performance or Potential? Both, but most importantly, #organizations must provide #opportunities to #grow. Following our research, high potential and high-performing people usually leave the companies that do not offer opportunities to grow.