Do Your Managers Have the Four Competencies Critical to Leadership Success?

FILE - This is a Aug. 27, 1941  file photo of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill as he gives his famous " V for Victory Salute" . Churchill Britain's famous World War II prime minister died fifty years ago on January 24 1965. (AP Photo, File)

Have you ever hired a manager who wowed you in the interview with stunning past achievements, described the exact skills you were looking for, and generally made it sound as though they would be the greatest leader since Winston Churchill? But then soon after they start, the complaints start rolling in. And that manager who seemed so amazing pre-hire, post-hire proves to be terrible!

We in the assessment field refer to this situation as “the interview trap.” It’s what happens when a candidate is sufficiently charismatic that they are able to convincingly fake competencies they do not possess. But there are ways to not fall in this trap. Using a personality test is one. Even the most charming and smooth-talking candidate can’t fake their personality on a test (there are numerous safeguards which mean personality tests are getting harder and harder to cheat.) They also can’t fake high cognitive performance – which is one of the best predictors of workplace performance. Psychometric assessment combines measures of both personality and cognitive ability to predict which candidates can truly lead, and which only say they can.

We’re increasingly finding that leadership and management ability can be boiled down to just a few key traits – and that these crop up over and over again in the top leaders:

  • Trustworthiness and integrity: A leader who is untrustworthy and lacks integrity may rise to the top in the short term – think of your classic narcissistic manager. But without fail these traits will end up with huge costs in the long term as team performance degrades under a leader who can’t face up to their mistakes. A leader’s trustworthiness and integrity will ultimately foster a culture where team members feel as if they can speak their mind and not be blamed for their manager’s mistakes. Traits like trustworthiness, integrity, and honesty can be easily identified by psychometric tests, letting you separate the team players from those who are only out for themselves.
  • Good judgment: It sounds obvious, but a good leader needs to have the ability to make the right decision when the pressure is on. Personality tests can measure an individual’s good judgment by combining measures of traits such as business acumen, and the ability to operate under stress. By looking for these attributes, you can vastly increase the odds of finding a leader who is going to make the right decision when you need it most.
  • Having a vision: A strong vision is what allows a leader to inspire those that they’re leading. A strong vision will have team members put aside their own agendas and work towards a common goal. Look at the great Winston Churchill’s ‘we will fight them on the beaches’ speech, in which he declared his vision of ‘victory, however long and hard the road may be.’ His words formed a cohesive vision that allowed England to resist invasion. And while the stakes for your company might not be as high as WW2, good leadership with a strong vision will nonetheless be critical in ensuring your company’s future success.
  • Self-awareness: This is the trait that is most lacking in today’s leaders. The research shows employees, especially younger ones, are more prone to overestimating their own ability in all areas. And while confidence can be a key factor in leadership, psychologists have found little correlation between confidence and actual ability. Related to this, the best leaders often seek advice from others very early on, allowing them to improve their performance.

History has repeatedly shown that a good leader elevates the performance of those underneath them to new heights. Despite this, we still see many companies not putting themselves in the best position to hire for great leadership. By implementing psychometric testing you can look for candidates with the prerequisite traits for being a great leader, and put them in charge of leading your organisation to success. And now Talegent has made this power is available to all with Empower. Talegent Empower has no contracts, no minimum volume, and you can pay as you go by credit card. So you can get to the best leadership when you need it – not when your contract says you can. And now, for a limited time, you can try Empower free. Simply register, and we’ll give you enough credits to test up to 10 people, at zero cost to you!

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