Accurately predicting which executives will succeed in a senior leadership role and which will not is critical, but challenging for most organizations.
What makes these high-stakes decisions so challenging? First, they require a determination of whether an executive can succeed in a new leadership context, one that is likely larger in scope, more highly dynamic and vastly more complex than previous roles. Traditional assessment approaches weren’t designed to predict whether an individual has the ability to stretch beyond his or her current capabilities to grow successfully into a new job and change along with
it and the organization.
Furthermore, executives at this level are highly accomplished. As a group, they score high on general intelligence tests, averaging in the 85th percentile or better. Since they were not designed speciﬁcally to assess executives, such tests lack the precision to illuminate diﬀerences among good, great and exceptional leaders. Top-level executives speak compellingly about their capabilities and experience. They are driven to inﬂuence others, and often are quite good at it. This combination makes for capable leaders, but also makes comprehensive, accurate assessment an extremely diﬃcult task.
So how can organizations improve their ability to make the most critical senior leadership decisions? Which assessment approaches provide the kind of insights that increase conﬁdence in decisions about which executives to select and develop for the organization’s most important leadership roles?
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