As chemical recruiters, when we are helping with hiring, we tend to look at past performance and the demonstrated accomplishments.  How much have you increased in sales, what is the new product you developed, what is the improvement you brought to the plant, how much money you saved, how many years have you led people, how many people have you led, and how many were promoted under your mentorship?


We need to look back or we won’t know what someone has done.  Another way to evaluate a candidate is to look at capabilities and competencies.  Some of these competencies that come to mind are drive for results, organizational agility, integrity and trust, conflict management, negotiating, building teams, developing direct reports, input, creativity, strategic, communication, intuitive, adaptability, decision making ability, problem solving, analytical, process management, and dealing with ambiguity.  These are most often accessed with a tool like DISC, StrengthFinder, or even the classical Myers-Briggs where one can identify an individual strengths and weaknesses.  Many organizations are using these to determine not only individual’s characteristics and personality but also cultural fit into an organization.  There are many that like these take a snapshot at one’s capabilities at that moment.


But how about the future performance?  Like many things, past performance is a strong indicator of future performance, but many times leaders are in new roles and face new challenges   How do we access future performance and future leadership potential?  Egon Zehnder’s definition of leadership is that “potential is the ability to successfully take larger leadership roles in both scale and complexity and speed with which one can do so.”  They have identified four traits that in today’s world are essential for future leadership potential and success.


Curiosity – in a less predictable world you can’t know all the answers.  A leader needs to stay relevant and curious about the world and about himself to understand his or her context, his or her own organization and what society and the role he or she is in demands.

Insights – the ability to connect the dots beyond gathering information can “transform past views and create new directions.

Engagement – “engaging in the emotion and logic of others to communicate a vision and connect the individuals to the leader and to the organization is a mark of a leader

Determination – “keep going toward vision while looking for disparate views.”


“A curious mind with a hunger to learn who can connect the dots with tenacity while appealing to hearts and mind is a future leader.”- Gizem Weggemans with Egon Zehnder


-Written by Sylvia Moreira: Specialty Chemicals Recruiter