Why understanding and identifying the difference between high potential and high performance is critical to both our personal and business success.
“There is no man living who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can do” – Henry Ford
Barely a day seems to go by where we don’t hear about the volatility and uncertainty of the business landscape, the economy and the employment market.
Businesses say they are struggling to find the right people to help them navigate this ever changing landscape; whilst individuals say they are struggling to find the right roles and/or organisations that allow them to showcase their talents and have real influence and impact.
PWC’s recent global survey found that 63% or CEO’s and business leaders don’t believe they have the talent needed to support their future growth. Further studies indicate that almost the same percentage of employees don’t believe that their managers and leaders understand their real capability or future career ambitions.
There is no doubt that this misalignment is hurting individual careers and impeding business growth. In a landscape characterized by what is now being commonly referred to as VUCA – Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity – we all need to rethink about how we develop both our own careers and those of the people that we lead. If we don’t we will find ourselves unable to navigate what is currently in play or what lies ahead.
The bottom line is individual’s need to get better at showcasing their potential; and organisations need to get better at identifying it.
With research suggesting that the top 10% of employees are more than 2.5 times productive and efficient than their counterparts, there is no doubt that showcasing and spotting real potential is critical to future proofing our success.
So how do we spot it and what are it’s key indicators? I particularly like Claudio Fernandez-Araoz’s (from global search firm Egon Zender) identification of the following 5 key elements.
As you read through them I would encourage you to take a moment to think about how you showcase each element. For those of you who are responsible for growing business capability and talent pipelines consider them as a guide to spotting potential in your team and organisation.
It is worth noting that there is a significant difference between high potential and high performance. Mistaking the difference can be costly for all involved. No doubt we have all worked with or heard of the top sales rep or technical lead who is promoted to manager and in the process struggles to transition from being the best in their field to helping others become their best. The results are often sliding performance and heightened frustrations for all involved, which ultimately hurt morale and drive turnover.
Converting high potential to high performance is always going to be the key to maximizing growth and opportunity – be it business or personal. To do this we need to start considering and offering development opportunities that push us out of our comfort zones. For it is when we operate outside of our comfort zone and stretch ourselves that the five elements of potential can be adopted and showcased…. And where the real magic happens.
As always I would love to hear your thoughts below.
Margot – The Career Diplomat
The roots of courageous leadership are firmly planted in self awareness, ownership and accountability.
Work on strengthening two different aspects of resilience.
When at a career crossroads, give yourself room to imagine what’s possible without any guilt.
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