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The High-Potential Leader by Geri Willigan, Ram Charan

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9Identifying, Recruiting, and Retaining Hipos

The train has left the station. At most companies, the journey to transform the company to a digital one has begun. Your role in that journey is to find, recruit, develop, and deploy leaders with high potential to drive the transformation and deftly steer the organization in the emerging context. Be honest about whether you are delivering:

  • Does your company have a robust pipeline of leaders with the capabilities needed to meet the emerging business challenges?
  • Is it head and shoulders above the competition’s?
  • Are your criteria for identifying high-potential leaders still relevant in light of the changing external landscape?
  • Does your company give its hipos opportunities to make big leaps in their development, despite the risks involved?
  • Does it deal with the organizational and personal issues associated with accelerating their growth?

Take the initiative to give your company’s approach to high-potential leaders a total rethink, starting with four basic principles:

  1. Hipos are a resource for the company, not for an individual boss. Think of talent as a company resource to be developed, deployed, and assigned in ways that serve the overall interests of the organization. That means bosses can’t hoard their high performers, nor block their growth.
  2. Development paths are customized for each individual hipo. It’s no different from what we see happening in the world of consumers, where the customer experience is increasingly customized. ...

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