Looking for Leadership Written by Shawn Bakker, Lead Psychologist Leadership requires different ways of thinking and interacting with people than individual contributor roles. When these differences aren’t recognized, high performing individuals moved into leadership positions struggle with the dramatic shift. Research from our People Trends Report found the majority of HR professionals – 55% – found the shift from individual contributor to front-line leader to be the most difficult of all leadership transitions. Based on our assessment data from leaders and leadership candidates, these are the differences to take into account when you are looking for and developing new leaders. Leadership Personality When it comes to personality, the majority of leaders are: Less detail-oriented and more focused on the big-picture. Less focused on processes and procedures. More flexible and adaptable. Quicker to take initiative and pursue opportunities. Comfortable dealing with multiple projects. More persuasive. More team-focused but less consultative. This is an interesting combination. We found that the majority of leaders value teamwork and are quick to engage others. However, they are also comfortable and willing to make decisions without unanimous support. Leadership Problem-Solving and Decision-Making When solving problems leaders need to shift from tactical thinking to a more strategic approach in all areas – operations, planning and personnel. What this looks like is: Mobilizing people around a vision and purpose. Engaging a wider range of stake holders. Coaching and developing the long-term growth of staff. Prioritizing tasks according to their urgency and importance. Identifying the root causes of problems. Seeking out different perspectives. Looking for innovative ways to address situations. Holding others accountable. It’s quite the list. Which is why leadership is difficult, and why well developed assessments help. Incorporating valid and reliable assessments into your leadership succession planning and leadership developmental programs gives you the ability to identify key gaps and train accordingly.