From an organizational standpoint, assessing high-potential leaders is the first step toward building a strong leadership bench. This part of the process allows an individual to honestly evaluate and understand his or her bundle of strengths and developmental opportunities. Using this information, the individual can then focus on the two or three areas that need the most work over the next year. Over time, the individual has the opportunity to sharpen many leadership attributes and enjoy cumulative success. In other words, in order to maximize leadership potential, both the assessment and development pieces must be tightly linked.

In terms of timing, it is wise to begin the process relatively early in one's career. The most ...

Get Why Are We Bad at Picking Good Leaders? A Better Way to Evaluate Leadership Potential now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.