People & Strategy Winter 2018 Vol. 41 No. 1 - 20

how to apply that learning to benefit the organization.
Long-term high-potentials are able to learn and keep
learning even after establishing remarkable track records.
They are deeply and broadly curious. These qualities ensure
they become and stay world-class situation sensors, talent-accelerators, career pilots, and complexity translators. Most
importantly, they always translate their learning into insights,
initiatives and actions - all aimed at improving or transforming the status quo. They are never passive. That's the catalytic
part.

The Problem with Potential and Why
This Gives You Power to Influence It

One challenge with defining what is 'potential' in organizations is that the process of gauging it is elusive and imprecise
- and can be highly subjective. And despite what some leaders would like to believe, potential does not equate to current
or past performance (Church, 2015). It involves determining
how well you will perform in future jobs that you have never had
and with demands that you have never experienced. Because of this
challenge, most bosses simply look to see how well you are
doing now to determine your potential. Yet research indicates
that a person's current performance rarely predicts their
future performance in different, more complex and/or bigger
roles. No matter, bosses often don't appreciate that fact.
Precisely because it's so hard for managers and organizations
to truly assess someone's potential, it's something that you
can influence. Our research shows that your performance on
the five X-factors will most influence your bosses' perceptions
of whether you're ready to be considered a high potential.
In other words, many bosses define potential through their
observations of the presence of the X-factors - though they
may use different terms for each.

Does Being Designated a High
Potential Really Matter?

The real reason you'll want to strive for the designation as
high-potential talent is that, once you are chosen, entirely
new opportunities open up. Organizations invest their scarce
development resources most heavily in their top-rated talent.
The smartest choice is to invest those limited dollars and opportunities in individuals with the absolute greatest potential.
What specific kinds of exciting opportunities can you
expect as a high-potential leader, ones that your peers may not
get a shot at? The following are the major ones:
Accelerated promotions. Companies focus on pulling
high-potentials through the organization quickly, which
translates into faster advancement than anyone else. Just as
importantly, research on these high-flyer leaders indicates
that they often maximize their learning in new roles after
about 18 months on the job.
More frequent and diverse roles. Along with faster advancement, high-potentials have more opportunities to build their
knowledge of the business and their leadership muscle. If your
company assessed you as high-potential talent, it will ask you
to change jobs more frequently and consider you for more critical experiences, key roles, or one-of-a-kind high-visibility projects than your peers. Best of all, your company manages your
20

PEOPLE + STRATEGY

career more thoughtfully, ensuring accelerated development
opportunities that your colleagues may never experience.
More development resources and support. High-potentials
almost always have priority for more of the company's development resources than their peers. In one study we conducted,
50 percent of the participating global corporations focused
their talent investments primarily on high-potential leaders.
This means that you will be the first to be involved in internal leadership programs, mentoring relationships, external
course offerings, special projects, coaching support, feedback
and assessment processes, and other developmental opportunities. If you decide to opt out of them, you will send a signal
to your organization that you don't want to be considered
high-potential talent.

Proactively seeking feedback and
acting upon it is critical to your
continued success. It is essential to
your development of the X-factors
with which you are less proficient.
Visibility to senior leadership. Finally, being a high potential
means you likely have far greater opportunities to meet, spend
time with, and even work directly with the executive leaders in
your organization. You might meet them through special task
forces, mentoring relationships, invitations to present where
you normally might not, participation in a leadership program where executives are leading or speaking, or simply having breakfast or lunch with a senior leader in what are called
"meet and greets." In many cases, your CEO may know who
you are. Indeed, they are likely to have your name and talent
data at their fingertips. They are likely to know your leadership and functional strengths, career preferences, assessment
results, mobility preferences, and so on. This heightened
visibility means that you have to stay on top of your game. You
have to keep earning your special status.

Using Feedback to Develop Strengths
and Sidestep Derailers

Over the last two decades, we have learned a great deal about
leadership development as it relates to high-potential talent.
At the core is the importance of self-awareness and receptivity
to constructive feedback. Research has shown that leaders
who are self-aware are simply better performers and in turn
have higher potential (Church, 1997). Feedback serves as the
means to understand and diagnose your strengths as well as to
identify opportunities for self improvement. It is foundational
to gaining self-awareness. This is why proactively seeking feedback and acting upon it is critical to your continued success.
It is essential to your development of the X-factors with which
you are less proficient.
It is equally important to use feedback to identify ways to
mitigate the downsides of your potential derailers or shortcomings. We usually think of our derailers as the dark side
elements of personality such as our needs for control or dom-



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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