Executive Coach Executive CoachExecutive Coach
Scott Eblin offers his take on lessons in the news and his advice on your pressing leadership questions.

How Do You Assess a Candidate’s Leadership Potential?

ARCHIVES

There’s an old saying that if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. That idea holds true when you’re trying to assess a candidate’s leadership potential. You have to start with a clear picture of what leadership means to you and, more importantly, what it means in your organization.

Many organizations have leadership competency models that purport to describe the key characteristics and behaviors that they seek in their leaders. The problem with many of these models is that they are so full of jargon and clichés that they don’t provide much in the way of useful guidance.

Having looked at dozens of these models over the years, I can make it simple for you. Leadership behaviors fall into one of two broad categories – the behaviors that drive results and the behaviors that build relationships. Both categories are equally important for long-term success. The most successful leaders exhibit both in abundance.

Here are some questions in each of those two categories to keep in mind when assessing a candidate’s leadership potential:

Driving Results

  • How well does the candidate understand which results matter most and why they do?
  • How skilled is the candidate in establishing goals that lead to results?
  • What demonstrated experience does the candidate have in creating plans that achieve goals?
  • What is the candidate’s demonstrated capacity to operate in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world?
  • Bonus question: Do they operate as a lifelong learner?

Building Relationships

  • What is the candidate’s track record in connecting with a diverse range of people?
  • How good is the candidate at coaching others to higher levels of performance?
  • How likely is the candidate to collaborate with peers to create boundary spanning results?
  • How skilled is the candidate in influencing powerful people to adopt a preferred course of action?

If you agree that it all comes down to driving results and building relationships, what other questions would you add to assess a candidate’s leadership potential in either of those categories?

This post originally ran on the Monster Thinking blog.

Executive coach Scott Eblin’s goal is to help you succeed at the next level of leadership. Throughout the week, he’ll offer his take on the leadership lessons in the news and his advice on your most pressing leadership questions. A former government executive, Scott is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is the author of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.