People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 19

ranking across a wide range of organizational settings and
roles. As we mentioned, we found that all the X-factors
applied across different types of companies, industries, and
levels of the hierarchy. Most importantly, you can develop
the X-factors over time with conscious effort. While a person's raw capabilities are important, you can cultivate the
X-factors throughout an entire career if you focus intently on
developing them.
You must be competent at all five skills. But, at different
points in your career, some are more important than others.
The first two X-factors, for example, are important skills to
develop early in your career, and you're unlikely to advance
without them. But the further up you go, the more important the other skills become and the more opportunities
you'll have to practice the third and fourth factors. The last
X-factor is foundational - it is the one skill that drives all
the others. The following are brief descriptions of each of
the five:
Situation sensing. The first X-factor has to do with your
most important relationship at work - the one with your
boss. It reflects the capacity to sense rapidly your boss's
priorities and unique stylistic imperatives. Especially at the
earlier stages of your career - where this X-factor skill is
disproportionately more important than the others - only
your bosses know you, judge you, and represent you to the
organization. In the meetings where executives confer high
potential status, your boss must go to bat for you. A high
potential talent designation is therefore all about advocacy.
Situation sensing is a critical skill to master early in a career
because what one person in the organization considers
important could be very different from what's important to
someone else. With situation sensing capacity, you can adapt
thoughtfully to what matters most to superiors. The person
most likely to assess your potential is your boss. Mess up that
relationship, and you'll totally miss a shot at the high potential designation.
Talent accelerating. This factor is a constellation of skills
related to assessing, motivating, and guiding the many
teams you'll lead over your career. Your boss designates you
as high-potential talent, but it is your team that determines
whether you can deliver the results to achieve that designation. You have to think carefully about who works for you,
who you hire, fire, promote, and develop, and how. You have
to be as interested in your team members' potential as your
own. After your first job as an individual contributor, you'll
move into team leadership roles and eventually be leading
teams of teams. Talent accelerating calls for you to be a quick
study of talent, and masterful in developing that talent.
High-potentials succeed because they draw deeply on the
strengths and drives of the individuals they lead. They are
also skillful in holding that talent accountable for performance and behavior. In essence, your talent is built upon the
talent of your team.
Career piloting. As you move up and across your organization, you'll have more challenging assignments to develop and test your potential. Each will require remarkable
versatility in terms of adapting your behavior and mindset. You'll have new and complex bodies of knowledge to

acquire and master. To succeed going forward, you'll have
to cultivate the third X-factor, career piloting, your ability to
quickly adapt to new situations by adjusting your mindset,
flexing your leadership style, engaging your team and peers
to solve and implement with a laser focus, and staying tightly
connected to your boss. This means finding ways to deliver
on the high-potential's promise of outstanding performance
no matter how big or how bad the next assignment. The
breadth of your leadership skills will be honed and tested
simultaneously. You'll need to be highly perceptive along
with being comfortable with ambiguity, and the necessity of
a calm, perceptive, and relational demeanor.

Your high potential status doesn't
rely on you being the smartest
person in the room, but on
connecting the dots and helping
others see those connections.
Complexity translating. One common misconception
about high-potentials is that superior intelligence wins the
day. Being the smartest person in the room, however, is not
an advantage - we have seen it become a roadblock for
high-potential candidates. Instead it is your ability to synthesize seemingly disparate data and information into strategic
and relevant insights, and to communicate those insights in
a way that advances the organization that is critical for success. Your high potential status doesn't rely on you being the
smartest person in the room, but on connecting the dots and
helping others see those connections. When you start out on
your career, you'll be rewarded for your complexity translating
ability to gather lots of data and deeply understand an issue.
As you advance, you will be expected to take information of
all kinds (problems, goals, data, trends, ideas, alternatives,
scenarios, outcomes) and distill them to their most relevant
components. You'll be rewarded for clear, critical insights
that help your colleagues solve vexing problems. This means
delivering meaningful and actionable insights in every possible format - a presentation to your peers that lays out a
compelling strategic plan, a kickoff speech when you inspire
your team to implement a new vision, a simple and focused
discussion with your CEO about a certain new initiative that
needs a major capital investment. You will be recognized for
your ability to make the right and compelling translation for
each level of the organization you are influencing.
Catalytic learning. The first four X-factors - situation
sensing, talent accelerating, career piloting, and complexity
translating - differentiate high-potentials from their peers
and others. The fifth X-factor that supports all the others is a
mindset we call "catalytic learning." This allows you to accomplish all the other factors. Catalytic learning is learning with
a purpose. It's what you do with what you're learning, how you
take insights and lessons and convert them into performance.
It's catalytic because this kind of learning transforms lessons
into actions. High-potentials learn quickly and understand
VOLUME 41 | ISSUE 1 | WINTER 2018

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1

From The Executive Editor
From The Guest Editors
Perspectives
So You Want to Be a High-Potential?
How to Identify and Grow High Potentials: A CEO’s Perspective with Proven Results
Getting the Right People in the Hi-Po Pool
Wherefore Art Thou All Our Women High-Potentials?
Are Your HiPos Overrated?
Executive Roundtable
In First Person
Linking Theory + Practice
Insight into Action
Leadership Insights
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Cover1
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Cover2
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 1
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 2
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 3
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - From The Executive Editor
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - From The Guest Editors
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 6
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 7
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Perspectives
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 9
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 10
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 11
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 12
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 13
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 14
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 15
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 16
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - So You Want to Be a High-Potential?
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 18
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 19
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 20
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 21
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - How to Identify and Grow High Potentials: A CEO’s Perspective with Proven Results
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 23
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 24
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 25
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 26
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 27
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Getting the Right People in the Hi-Po Pool
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 29
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 30
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 31
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Wherefore Art Thou All Our Women High-Potentials?
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 33
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 34
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 35
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 36
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 37
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Are Your HiPos Overrated?
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 39
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 40
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 41
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Executive Roundtable
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 43
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 44
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 45
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 46
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 47
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - In First Person
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 49
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Linking Theory + Practice
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 51
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 52
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 53
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Insight into Action
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 55
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Leadership Insights
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 57
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 58
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Cover3
People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - Cover4
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