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Hiring at the top: Leveraging the PI for Effective Leader Selection

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Dr. Todd Harris explains the various factors which come into play where the hiring of the top management is concerned. Watch Todd as he takes us through the effective use of PI and in assessing the …

Dr. Todd Harris explains the various factors which come into play where the hiring of the top management is concerned. Watch Todd as he takes us through the effective use of PI and in assessing the organizational context similar to that of assessing candidates.

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  • 1. Hiring at the Top: Leveraging the PI for Effective Leader Selection Todd Harris, Ph.D. Director of Research
  • 2. “ The most important responsibility that all of us have is to develop the leaders of the future. It’s the greatest challenge that we have, and the most important legacy that we can leave behind.” William C. Weldon Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Johnson & Johnson
  • 3. A Great Opportunity for PI
    • Identifying and developing leaders is the key human capital challenge of every company.
    • PI has an enormous amount to contribute in this area, but has thus far been underutilized.
    • Example: PI client survey from September ’06 indicated that leadership development was our clients’ number one priority, but only 44% of our clients use the PI in this way.
    • The goal of this session is to share some “best of class” thinking in the area of leader selection and development and to discuss ways that the PI can contribute.
  • 4. Some Background
    • The Question: How effective is the modern leader?
    • The Answer: Not very.
    • Some benchmarking data:
      • 64% of new executives hired from outside the company do not make it in their new jobs (Ciampa & Watkins).
      • 40% of new executives fail within the first 18 months (Center for Creative Leadership).
      • 33% - 50% considered “successful” after three years in the job (Drucker).
      • 2% of organizations believe “they are doing a great job at developing leadership talent” (SIOP).
  • 5. What Happens?
    • Leader failure is common, hidden and ignored.
      • Gets publicly fired (rare).
      • Leaves over disagreements about “organizational direction.”
      • Leaves for “personal reasons.”
      • Leaves for “better opportunities.”
      • Gets shuffled into less critical position.
      • Is tolerated in position, but influence and authority wane (i.e. “failing in place”).
      • Partially competent, so colleagues do “work-arounds” and ignore deficiencies.
  • 6. Leader Failure – Organizational Perspective
    • When organizations make mistakes with leader selection, it usually results from a combination of the following reasons:
      • Lack of agreement on selection criteria and priorities.
      • Using a narrow or overly simplistic “leader profile.”
      • Seeking to duplicate the profile of the predecessor or of current leaders/executives.
      • Using poor interviewing skills (i.e. not structured and behavioral).
      • Poor definition, coordination and control of the screening process.
      • Collecting insufficient data or irrelevant data.
      • Screening candidates sequentially instead of simultaneously.
      • Gathering little input and support from key peers and functions related to the role.
      • Overvaluing external candidates and undervaluing internal candidates.
  • 7. Leader Failure – Leader Perspective
    • The “seven deadly sins” of new leaders:
      • Sins of “Omission”
      • Failing to deliver results.
      • Failing to re-create a network.
      • Failing to listen to/respond to feedback.
      • Sins of “Commission”
      • Delivering the wrong results.
      • Breaking trust.
      • Living in the past.
      • Being more “I” oriented than “we” oriented.
  • 8. The Good News: Some companies do a much better job at this than others. What do those companies do?
  • 9. An overarching theme: They do as good a job assessing the organizational context as they do assessing the candidates.
  • 10. Five Key Organizational Context Variables
      • The position.
      • The leadership group.
      • The CEO or other immediate manager.
      • The organizational culture.
      • The country culture.
  • 11. The Position
    • The Key Question: What are the specific challenges that the person will be facing, and what are the competencies required to successfully meet those challenges?
      • What is the strategic mandate?
      • To what extent will the leader be able to shape the role in new, unexpected and value-added ways?
      • Operational responsibilities?
      • Decision-making authority?
      • Scope/scale/size of organization?
      • Change expectations (internal and external)?
      • What do the data tell us about successful leaders in this organization?
  • 12. The Leadership Group
    • The Key Question: What are the characteristics of the people that this person will be working with?
      • Peers – similar versus complimentary – some mixture is optimal – similarity builds trust, but can limit thinking and inhibit change – complimentary skill sets (e.g. “strong customer focus) must be valued enough to survive.
      • Direct Reports
        • Similarity versus complimentary.
        • Effective leaders tend to hire others and build teams with complimentary skill sets.
  • 13. The CEO/Immediate Manager
    • The Key Question: What are the characteristics of the person that this person will be working for?
      • Strategic priorities.
      • Personality/work style.
      • Expectations of the leader.
      • Authority and support given to the leader.
  • 14. The Organizational Culture
    • The Key Question: What type of organization will this person be working in?
      • Business strategies.
      • Historical legacies.
      • Core competencies.
      • Organizational structure.
      • Competitive advantage.
      • Norms (e.g. leadership style, decision-making, structure, speed, formality, etc.)
  • 15. The Country Culture
    • The Key Question: What type of country will this person be working in?
      • Business norms.
      • Social norms.
      • Level of adjustment support.
      • Tolerance of differences.
      • Similarity to country of origin.
  • 16. What Should We Know About Potential Leaders?
    • Now that we have a good handle on the external environment, what should we be looking at that is internal to the leaders?
      • Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs).
        • Leadership, influence, communication.
        • Thinking, execution, results.
        • Strategic and change management skills.
        • Functional and global experience.
      • Interests, motivations and needs.
      • Performance results in past experiences – NOTE: what were the contexts of past successes and failures?
      • Skills in sustaining success over time.
      • Skills in adapting to changes in the five organizational context variables (e.g. new position priorities, new peers, new business strategy, etc.)
  • 17. PI and Leadership: Leverage Points
      • Helping organizations understand how PI may contribute to the execution of their strategic mandate. For example, does the organization need a leader who is a strong visionary, or one that is more focused on achieving operational goals? This information can in turn feed into the company’s leadership competency model.
  • 18. PI and Leadership: Leverage Points
      • Helping organizations to be on the lookout for predecessor and team duplication issues. For example, if the previous CEO is High A, there often will be an automatic tendency to seek other High A’s, etc. If the previous CEO has failed there often will be an automatic tendency to look for the opposite PI.
  • 19. PI and Leadership: Leverage Points
      • Helping organizations to refine behavioral interviewing questions. For example, if the leadership position in question calls for a “team builder”, and a candidate’s PI does not naturally link with this particular leadership competency, interview questions can be developed which allow for additional “digging.”
  • 20. PI and Leadership: Leverage Points
      • PI validity study research can provide quantitative data about what successful leaders in a client organization tend to look like. For example, perhaps highly rated senior leaders in a certain organization are characterized by High D, wider B>C spreads, come from the Southwest region, and worked in the Product Development part of the business.
  • 21. PI and Leadership: Leverage Points
      • Research indicates that new leaders often underachieve because of things such as neglecting to re-create their internal networks, failing to incorporate performance and process feedback and being too “I”-oriented. Organizations can be on the lookout for early warning signs of these issues, and the PI can provide valuable insights into how to prevent or remediate them. For example, PI tells us that low B’s may need some help building networks, etc.
  • 22. PI and Leadership: Leverage Points
      • Research also indicates that leadership groups with a mixture of skills and personalities tend to outperform those that are overly homogeneous. PI can tell us if a leadership group or class is “top-heavy” in one way or another.
  • 23. Leadership Candidate Evaluation Template
    • Competency Name: Passion for Operational Excellence
    • Competency Definition: Displays urgency, intensity and strong desire to achieve breakthrough performance on all defined financial, operational and customer satisfaction metrics. Provides focus, makes the tough decisions, and will align and influence the organization.
    • Candidate Ratings from 1 to 5:
      • Candidate #1: _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
      • Candidate #2: _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
      • Candidate #3: _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
    • And so on…
  • 24.
    • Thank you!
    • Questions? [email_address] | @piworldwide
    • http://www.linkedin.com/in/piworldwide
    • More Information: http://www.piworldwide.com

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