“Survey: 68% of CEO’s admit they were weren’t fully prepared for the job.” – HBR July 2018 headline.

So how can the gap between the competencies of potential senior leaders and their future responsibilities be closed?


Results orientation, strategic orientation, collaboration and influence, team leadership, development of organizational capabilities, change leadership, market understanding, and inclusiveness are eight senior leadership competencies noted in Claudio Fernandez-Araoz’s various writings. These characteristics can be quantified, allowing senior management to gain insights into an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. To some extent, individual personality traits and thought preferences may give someone an advantage in a category or two, but largely competence is developed situationally over time. Opportunities for a potential senior leader to gain experience in areas where they have perceived deficiencies must be strategically relevant to the firm so that there exists the weight of responsibility for a successful outcome. Breaking down strategic initiatives through a goal tree process and associating the leadership competencies along with individual personal attributes (which I mentioned in a previous article) will allow senior managers to strengthen the firm’s future senior leaders. And since, according to research from the Corporate Executive Board (CEB); “only 13% of senior executives have confidence in the rising leaders in their firms”, this process must begin immediately. I’ll write about leadership competencies, personal attributes and assignment types in a future article.

In the meantime, please contact Bob Jeske, Vice President at SBTI, at 512-353-7489 or bjeske@sbtimail.com to schedule a free listening session.