Scouting Future Organizational Leaders Using the Four Predictors of Leadership Potential

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In today’s podcast episode, we interview Kimberly Janson, CEO of Janson Associates,  and co – author of the book, Determining Leadership Potential: Powerful Insights to Winning at the Talent Game. Today’s topics are focused on the four predictors of leadership potential, assessments organizations can use to find future leaders to foster company growth, employee engagement, and talent retention as organizations Team Anywhere.

What Surprised Kim Over the Last 2 Years

Kim was surprised that a consequence of the COVID pandemic was the opportunity for people to execute more choices. The new hybrid and virtual workplaces allowed people to make choices for themselves and choose organizations that fit their time, location, and flexibility. On the other hand, Kim calls the Great Resignation event The Great Lack of Connectivity because people feel lost and they want to be acknowledged and feel valued. 

A Dive Into Kim’s Book: Determining Leadership Potential

Kim’s book Determining Leadership Potential, focuses on the current leadership crisis. The Great Resignation resulted in droves of people leaving the workforce. The baby boomers are already at their retirement age so the leadership pool is shrinking. Consequently, this is the right time for organizations to step up their game in choosing people to become future leaders.

The Four Predictors of Leadership Potential

Based on extensive research outlined in her book, there are four (4) predictors or indicators of leadership potential. These 4 key areas should be taken into consideration when choosing future leaders for your organization.

  1. Intelligence – Mental capacity–or cognitive elasticity–to deal with complex problems is needed in a leadership candidate. And according to Kim, intelligence is fixed and innate and you cannot simply increase someone’s IQ.
  2. Personality – Some personalities are a better fit for leadership. According to Kim, some personality traits such as severe negativity, self-absorption and extreme introversion are personality derailers which are not good for potential leaders.
  3. Learning Agility – Potential Leaders should be able to react to the market, assimilate information quickly, and learn new skills with ease.  This characteristic is such an important skill that it is non-negotiable for leaders.
  4. Motivation – Leaders should have a big engine and have a lot of gas in their tanks because they need to have the capacity to bring people together. That alone takes a lot of energy and effort. A potential leader’s inner “why” should be fundamentally strong from the start.

Assessments Organizations Can Use for Finding Potential Leaders

According to Kim, multiple assessments must be done for scouting potential leaders. These are in the form of written inventories which may need interpretation by experts. But a caveat to these assessments is behavior trumps it. Listed below are some of Kim’s recommended assessments.

  • Multi-Rater – Qualitative 360
  • The Hogan Executive Assessment
  • The Power of Understanding People – Personality Assessment
  • DISC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance)
  • Myers-Briggs
  • Wonderlic

Who is Kimberly Janson?

Dr. Kimberly Janson is CEO of Janson Associates, a talent and organizational development company, and was named a Top 10 Thought Leader, Top 10 Executive Coach in 2021, and Top 10 Inspirational Leader in 2022. Together with co-author Dr. Melody Rawlings, they’ve written  Determining Leadership Potential: Powerful Insights to Winning at the Talent Game (Routledge, Aug. 25, 2022). Learn more at, and

To learn more about the Four Predictors of Leadership Potential, download this episode now.

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