The process of identifying those capable of taking on senior leadership positions is an ever evolving challenge for most organisations. Potential candidates whether they be internal or external, must be assessed on both their existing skills as leaders, and their ability to develop the necessary competencies for more senior roles in the future
One tactic for building effective leaders has been to engage prospective candidates in simulation-based learning. It allows individuals to develop the specific skills needed while giving them practical experience in applying them. From here, the challenge becomes how do we assess the outcomes of this learning? How does this feedback contribute to the creation of a focused, development plan?
Assessing Potential Leaders
When developing high potential leaders, simulation-based learning can be used by senior executives to get an idea of the candidate’s strengths and provide them with opportunities to improve. The feedback that candidates receive is integral to their development as future leaders. Leadership assessment tools such as the Hogan 360º Report help in building a leadership profile for candidates that outlines the competencies in which they are skilled as well as those that they are developing. Executives who hope to support the career goals of their employees can also use these assessments to build focused development plans for those individuals. This may include leadership training programs or providing them with an executive coach who will work closely with them to achieve their goals.
Developing Potential Leaders
Whether one, the other, or a combination of both, the candidate should also be accessing leadership assessment and development tools regularly in order to keep track of their progress and success. By building regular assessments into their development plan, potential leaders are able monitor their growth using measurable data. When the time comes that they are being considered for an elevated position within the company, executives can look at the various assessments that have been made through their development and determine whether they have achieved the necessary competencies for the role.
Assessment is a vital component of leadership development, though it is not one that many individuals regularly take advantage of. Building effective leaders can only begin once a profile of the competencies has been completed. Leadership assessment tools should be prioritised as a primary resource for executives and potential talent for ensuring that individuals are receiving the training that will have the greatest benefit for them and the organisation as a whole. Leaders who develop a tangible awareness of their abilities become more effective in leading their teams because they understand their limitations. This establishes a culture where the most important thing is not to have all the answers, but to collaborate in order to find the solution.