PDI Pulse on Leaders Study

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<p><strong>Minneapolis &mdash; Nov. 30</strong><br />A recent Pulse on Leaders study by Personnel Decisions International (PDI) shows that 27 percent of leaders rated by their bosses as having high potential were also seen by the same bosses as having a high risk of derailment &mdash; a risk of being demoted, fired or performing below the level of expected achievement. Typically, high-potential leaders who are likely to derail are smart, driven and accustomed to pushing through obstacles to meet ambitious goals. But this same hard-driving, risk-embracing style that gets leaders noticed can also cause them to experience problems with their colleagues. <br /><br />&ldquo;High-performing individuals are used to success but often don&rsquo;t take the time to consider how it is achieved or how their actions impact others,&rdquo; said PDI&rsquo;s David Peterson, Ph.D., senior vice president, executive coaching services. &ldquo;They assume that what they are doing today to produce results will continue to serve them well going forward, without realizing that they are failing to build the strong relationships and loyalty that will actually enhance their chances for long-term success. Coaching is one of the best ways to make sure they learn what they need to deliver results long term as well as short term.&rdquo;<br /><br />For the study, PDI took a sample of 510 midlevel leaders who completed a battery of assessments and performance evaluations and had their bosses rate them on their advancement potential and their career derailment risk. Of those, 109 were identified by their bosses as &ldquo;high potentials&rdquo; capable of achieving senior executive or CEO status. Bosses also identified approximately one in four of this group as a high risk for derailment &mdash; indicating a strong likelihood that observed potential would not be met.<br /><br />&ldquo;Our recommendation to organizations is to not wait for a problem to arise in this high-potential subset,&rdquo; said Peterson. &ldquo;An accurate understanding of a leader&rsquo;s strengths and weaknesses early on provides development plans for those talented, high-potential performers who need the right development, coaching and experience to avoid future derailment.&rdquo;<br /><br />According to PDI, while boss rankings are one important indicator, there are more objective ways to identify high-potential talent and the skills these people need to best serve organizational objectives. &ldquo;Many factors determine high potential that are not always considered, including motivations, work style and experience with the specific challenges that teach the most critical lessons. Increasingly, organizations are going beyond boss ratings and are using more robust tools to objectively understand their top talent,&rdquo; said Peterson.<br /><br />&ldquo;Some organizations look only at competencies and performance to identify potential, but other measures are even better predictors of potential. These measures include how an individual works with colleagues to achieve results,&rdquo; continued Peterson. &ldquo;PDI helps organizations understand that high-potential identification and development go hand in hand to create leaders that will drive organizational success.&rdquo; </p>

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