Most executives would tend to agree that good leaders are hard to find. This notion is reinforced in the 2016/17 Sheffield Leadership Survey, which showed that leaders of firms in the South Island, believe that good leaders are hard to find. Rating this difficulty on a scale from zero to ten, most respondants rate their difficulty as a 7 or 8 (with 10% of leaders rating it as a 9 or 10 out of ten).

If you are in a leadership role, then I have two questions for you:

Firstly, do you know what successful leadership looks like specific to your organisation? Have you ever asked yourself this question? Most of us have a business strategy in place, that is specific to the company. But what does successful leadership look like in your organisation? Maybe it’s the ability to be financially literate. Maybe it’s the ability to be marketing and customer focused? Maybe it’s the ability to be able to lead change and drive innovation?

Secondly, what critical skills/experience/competencies are required to enable your strategy? In other words, to execute your company strategy, what specific competencies are needed by your staff? Executing your business strategy starts with creating a clear target of what it takes to be successful in a job, function or level for your organisation.

The savviest organisations are using “Success Profiles” to help drive their strategy. Success Profiles holistically capture the requirements of job success. They understand what attributes are critical to driving business strategy in a job, job level, or function. Consider the image below, provided by DDI:* 

For the key positions in your organisation, it helps to have a clear understanding of the knowledge, competencies, experience and personal attributes required for successful performance. Success Profiles can then be used as a foundation that will underpin ALL of your HR systems and tools, such as: recruitment, position descriptions, assessment, development plans, career development discussions, performance management (aligned with your strategy), and succession management.

They can do all of this because, quite simply, Success Profiles connect people strategy to business strategy. They also communicate an understanding of job and role expectations and enable your organisation to get the right people into the right roles.

So, for your next hire, or professional development assignment, consider the use of Success Profiles, and be sure to understand what success looks like, specific to your organisation.

* Sheffield is the exclusive licensed partner for DDI in New Zealand

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