Want to Learn More About High Potentials? We've Got You Covered.

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Thu, Jan 12, 2017

Leading up to the launch of the Hogan High Potential Talent Report, our CEO, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, authored numerous articles addressing human potential and how to assess it. Writing for Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Forbes, and others, here’s a comprehensive list of Tomas’s articles on the subject.

Fast Company -- Tapping the Potential of Your Company's Hidden Superstars

Summary: Despite all the talk about the war for talent, most organizations already have the supply of talent they need. The problem is, many employers are unable to either identify or engage those high-potential individuals.

Harvard Business Review -- Strengths-Based Coaching Can Actually Weaken You

Summary: Although there are no reasons to expect the fascination with strengths-based coaching to wane any time soon, organizations – and people – would be better off it did. This article outlines five reasons to be skeptical of a leadership development approach that focuses only on strengths.

Fast Company -- How to Get Your Employer to Finally Recognize Your Potential

Summary: It’s the job of every manager to size up their team members and evaluate their potential. That means understanding not just their current talents, but also their likelihood of developing them for higher-impact roles.

Management Today -- 5 Tips for Assessing Employee Potential

Summary: In an ideal world, your pipeline would be brimming with future high fliers, who will one day push your organization to new heights. Unfortunately, life’s rarely that kind. Here are five tips to help you find and develop your future stars.

Harvard Business Review -- What Science Tells Us About Leadership Potential    

Summary: Although the scientific study of leadership is well established, its key discoveries are unfamiliar to most people, including an alarmingly large proportion of those in charge of evaluating and selecting leaders.

Huffington Post -- Why Many Companies Are Failing to Unlock Their Future Leaders' Potential

Summary: It’s unsurprising that organizations devote an increasing amount of time and resources to the identification and development of future leaders. This explains the recent proliferation of interventions targeting HIPOs: the individuals who show the biggest promise for leading the organization in the future.

Forbes -- Four Things You Probably Didn't Know About High Potential Employees

Summary: There are four common mistakes organizations tend to make in their HIPO programs, namely mistaking performance for potential, and emergence for effectiveness; undermining the importance of development, and ignoring the dark side of personality.

Fast Company -- Three Reasons Why You Aren't Reaching Your Full Potential

Summary: “Inborn talent” is something of an oxymoron. Nobody is born with talent, as we typically understand the term, and we all differ in our potential to develop the skills and attributes that later lead others to call us talented. So why are some people better at developing their potential than others?

Fast Company -- What You Think Makes a Good Leader Probably Doesn't

Summary: We may think we know what qualities we value in those who lead us – and why – but companies and entire countries keep pushing less than stellar leaders into positions of power. How come? 

Fast Company -- The Often Overlooked Aspect of Getting Ahead at Work

Summary: Managing the tension between getting along and getting ahead is particularly important if you have leadership aspirations. Psychologist Robert Hogan defined leadership as “getting along to get ahead,” and he put forward a Darwinian framework for understanding why some people are more successful than others.

Fast Company -- How We Can See Past the Allure of Charismatic Leaders

Summary: A global survey evaluating everyday perceptions of leadership across 62 countries identified “charismatic” and “inspirational” as two of the most recurrent attributes linked to leadership. Yet there’s actually little evidence that charisma helps leaders be more effective. In fact, it often has the reverse effect.

Fast Company -- How to Turn Your Personality into You Career Advantage

Summary: With a bit of self-awareness – understanding how you differ from others and especially what others think of you – you can turn your personality from a heavy roadblock to a killer career weapon.

Harvard Business Review -- Talent Matters Even More than People Think

Summary: Clearly, some people are both talented and hard-working, but there is often a tension between the two. Talent can make people lazy because they need to rely less on hard work to achieve the same goal. Hard work helps people compensate for lower levels of talent, which is why it’s quite helpful to be aware of one’s limitations. But how much does talent really matter?

Management Today -- Do Nice Managers Finish Last?

Summary: In the corporate world, most organizations seem to have developed – involuntarily, of course – quite effective mechanisms for stopping nice employees from advancing to management positions.

Forbes -- Can Human Potential Be Measured? A Psychological View

Summary: The idea that science can be used to quantify our future performance is unpopular. The main reason is that it tastes of determinism and questions the strong lay conviction that we are completely free to decide our destiny, a conviction that is obviously irrational.

For more information about the Hogan High Potential Talent Report, visit hoganhipo.com.

Topics: high potential leaders, high potential, high potential employees, high potentials, high potential program

Hogan Releases High Potential Talent Report

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Tue, Jan 10, 2017


We’re excited to announce the launch of the Hogan High Potential (HIPO) Talent Report, a new product that simplifies the way organizations evaluate and develop talented people. The comprehensive report makes it easier to make informed talent decisions, groom and develop employee leadership competencies, and achieve positive business outcomes.

Most organizations make it a top priority to identify, develop and prepare successful leaders for roles with expanded scope and responsibility. However, organizations large and small have struggled to find an accurate, useful and sustainable way to develop the leaders with the highest potential for future success.

“One of the main reasons high potential programs fail is that they focus too much on performance, which organizations are historically poor at measuring,” says Hogan CEO Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic. “And, even if organizations do measure performance well, many top performers will fail to perform well at the next level. So it’s important to focus less on performance, which is what you have done in the past, and more on potential, which is what you will probably do in the future.”

The Hogan model identifies and defines three elements that are important for HIPO success. The first, leadership foundation, describes the degree to which individuals are able to effectively manage their career, how rewarding they are to deal with, and how strong they are as organizational citizens. The second, leadership emergence, predicts the likelihood that someone will be noticed in the organization, emerge and be labeled as a leader. The third, leadership effectiveness, predicts one’s ability to lead teams successfully toward productive outcomes.

All three components of the Hogan HIPO model are strongly linked to personality. The new report identifies strengths and gaps related to each of these critical elements, and suggests specific, targeted developmental actions to address them.

“Potential is not solely based on the absolute value of your skills and abilities – it is powerfully influenced by the extent to which others perceive you as a leader,” says Chamorro-Premuzic. “Effective leaders are able to attract, retain and develop strong talent, achieve business goals, secure resources and remove barriers to success. This new report can accurately assess leadership potential at all levels regardless of the size and scope of the organization.”

For more information about the Hogan HIPO Talent Report, visit hoganhipo.com.


Topics: high potential leaders, high potential, high potential employees, high potential program

Drinks with Hogan | What is a high potential?

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Thu, Apr 14, 2016

In this edition of Drinks with Hogan, Managing Partner Ryan Ross explains why narrowing the definition of potential, in order to coach and develop people to a very specific thing, is necessary for success. Additionally, Ross discusses the leadership characteristics of a high potential employee.


Topics: Drinks with Hogan, high potential, high potential employees

Mythbusters Series: Emergence is not Effectiveness

Posted by Michael Sanger on Mon, Mar 16, 2015

hogan-mythbustersWe have some important advice for all the politicking, rising stars out there: before you dub yourself the organization’s next great scion, you’ll need to make sure you have the skillsets necessary to build and guide a high performing team. There are numerous reasons an individual may be nominated to represent a key part of the succession plan, but more often than not it’s because the employee is socially skilled, confident and interested in influencing. But just because one is generally rewarding to interact with doesn’t mean special resources should be dedicated to his or her advancement. Our point is this: When it comes to leadership positions, emergence does not necessarily equal effectiveness. This edition of our series debunks the myth that those identified as high potentials usually have the requisites for success at the higher levels. This is the story of the High-Pos, the Low-Pos, the Faux-Pos, and the So-sos.

At Hogan we define high potential as the ability to build and lead teams that can outperform the competition. Depending on the organizational strategy, the definition of performance can vary, and the criteria used to measure performance should be aligned accordingly. But these data should also be independent of the organization’s internal talent management systems. Examples include customer evaluations of performance, business unit revenue, accident reduction, and units produced. I say this because internal performance appraisals have shown to be problematic in identifying effectiveness due to questionable accuracy of raters and the politics embedded in the process. At its very core, the issues with an internal appraisal system stem from likeability factors that lead individuals to receive high or low ratings across the board. In other words, if a manager likes your personality, he or she will likely praise your other competencies (e.g. that age old favorite “Leadership”) as well.

But because so many organizations rely on performance rating forms and interviews with key stakeholders to identify their high potential employees, your Faux-Pos (those who talk a good game and know how to use their social faculties for advancement, but are unwilling to learn and/or put personal career aspirations ahead of team or company needs) are often mixed in with your Hi-Pos. Such lack of distinction can lead to detrimental results. In parallel, the So-Sos (those who work hard, are willing to learn, and believe in the company vision, but still need development around commonly noticed leadership skills) get grouped in with the Lo-Pos and are often left behind, leaving unknown opportunity costs. Research conducted by Luthans as well as by Lord, Vader & Alliger examine these concepts in further depth.

It may feel like after reading this, your nominations of the past have been nothing short of playing “Marco Polo” in your high potential pool. But this does not have to be the case. Matching personality profiles of previous high potential cohorts with data on long-term subsequent business performance can at least tease out general differences between the Hi Pos and Faux Pos of years past. With such information, and some additional organizational study, we may be able to then identify those potential-diamonds in the rough and responsibly widen the cache of future organizational leaders.


Topics: teams, high potential employees, mythbusters

On Halloween, beware the cultural vampire

Posted by Ryan Daly on Wed, Oct 31, 2012

VampireMany business owners and managers have likely found themselves in a predicament similar to the one Eric Sinoway describes in a recent blog for the Harvard Business Review.

One of his firm’s top performers was having a detrimental impact on the company culture. Should he and his partner continue to support and reward the employee based on his results, or should they cut him loose? How do you weigh the results a person gets vs. how he or she gets them?

Culture is a crucial factor in business success. There are dozens of stories of how a company’s culture either positively or negatively impacted its business.

Sinoway goes so far as to quote a Harvard Business School professor who claimed, “maintaining an effective culture is so important that it, in fact, trumps even strategy.”

Sinoway proposes there are four types of employees in terms of culture:

  • Stars – Employees who perform well and align with organizational values
  • High Potentials – Employees whose performance could improve, but who align with organizational values
  • Zombies – Employees who neither perform well or align with organizational values, and
  • Vampires – Employees who perform well but fail to align with organizational values.

Vampires, Sinoway said, can prove the most destructive, since most companies are reluctant to fire top performers. In this particular employee’s case, Sinoway knew he had to let him go.

For more about how values impact organizational culture and how culture can affect performance, check out our three part series, The Power of Unconscious Biases, The Value of Values, and The Culture Clash.

Topics: corporate culture, culture, high potential employees

Don't Shoot the Managers

Posted by Ryan Daly on Wed, Apr 25, 2012

PotentialRon Ashkenas recently posted an interesting blog on Harvard Business Review positing two common failures of high potential development programs: (1) employers are uncomfortable tapping some employees for development over others, and (2) managers are uncomfortable maintaining the complex coaching dialogue needed to develop these high potential employees. Ashkenas writes:

Taken together, the twin discomforts of differentiation and dialogue hinder high-potential programs, even when senior line and HR executives do a good job of centrally structuring assessments, rotations, and training. This may at least partly explain why so many company-identified high potentials don't remain with their firms.

Ashkenas places much of the blame on squeamish managers:

… most managers hate to differentiate. They would prefer to treat everyone the same, avoiding the uncomfortable process of sorting people by levels of performance … engaging in … developmental dialogue is foreign to many managers and can cause just as much anxiety as the need to differentiate.

This is where I disagree, at least in part. Yes, managers are uncomfortable ranking their employees. However, this discomfort with differentiation likely exists because, in many cases, being selected for development has more to do with politics than potential. Good personality assessment provides a fair, accurate way to identify employees who have the potential to become strong leaders, which effectively absolves managers of accusations that they play favorites.

Similarly, managers are often uncomfortable mentoring their high potential employees because without the data-driven development framework provided by personality assessment, feedback can be unfocused, and performance critiques taken as a personal attack.

For more information on high potential development, check out our recent whitepaper, “From Potential to Performance,” in which we examine how these and other common talent management problems can be solved by making personality assessment the cornerstone of any high potential selection and development program.

Topics: leadership, high potential employees

Awareness Coaching

Posted by Hogan Assessments on Thu, Apr 19, 2012

4108528 mThe modern economy is changing more and more rapidly than ever before. Companies depend on their leaders to guide them through this turbulent marketplace, making the availability of savvy, well-developed leaders a crucial part of business suc­cess. However, a recent survey found that although the majority of HR directors identified high-potential leader development as their most important focus, more than 80% of those surveyed expected their HR budget either to shrink or stay the same.

This leaves many HR managers struggling to answer an important question: In such a cost-driven busi­ness atmosphere, how can companies still provide critical professional development opportunities to their leaders? “Awareness Coaching” demonstrates that by combining the powerful science of personality assessments with a limited number of coaching sessions, companies can provide a highly impactful, cost-effective experience for their high-potential employees.

Topics: coaching, employee development, high potential employees

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