Fewer organizations, unfortunately, are willing to take risks with high potentials in critical roles – they’re demanding high performers. So how do you assess a high potential’s relationship-centric readiness to drive very real impact in the business? Here is a simple formula:

Current State of Performance (competencies/skills) +Developmental Plan (good and bad experiences, motivation) + Potential (readiness traits) = Relationship-Centric Readiness

That readiness has to then be questioned in context. Specifically, are they ready now? Will they be ready in one to two years with this additional development? In one to two years with a great deal of development? Or, should you “wait and see,” – which is a maintenance mode – and keep this person in her current role to see how well she adapts and responds to challenges?

Picture a square with four quadrants. The x-axis represents Potential and the y-axis represents Performance. In the bottom left quadrant with low potential and low performance you get Under-Performers. With high potential and low performance you get Under-Achievers. While the reverse – low potential and high performance – just leaves you with High-Performers. The ultimate goal with high potential and performance gives you High-Potentials where you can have the greatest impact.

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