High potentials value being able to teach and mentor others. This video explores how it’s not only important to develop high potentials; it’s also important to engage them in developing others in the organization.
- Research shows that high potentials are two times more likely than others to develop the next generation of leaders in their organization. So why is this the case? Well, this study showed that since high potentials receive significant development themselves, they're more likely to want to share this experience in developing others. You might wonder if they feel a sense of obligation since they had leaders or mentors who took a chance on them in their careers, or maybe they went through an expensive program that made a difference for them.
However, this isn't the case. It's been shown that high potentials enjoy passing on their knowledge to others. They receive recognition for it, and they experience greater career growth than those who don't develop others. By developing their direct reports, and individuals on other teams, high potentials increase their visibility in the organization. They create followers and supporters who are key to have, as they want to rise in the organization.
Leaders notice high potentials who take an interest in others' development. In fact, some organizations will look for this desire and ability to develop others as one of the criteria of high potential itself. An organization will benefit greatly from tapping into high potentials to develop others' careers. So what does this look like? High potentials can be matched with more junior people in their own area of expertise to transfer knowledge and share their own lessons learned.
Individuals matched with a high potential can bounce ideas around, get advice on key decisions, strategize, and discuss their career goals. High potentials will advocate for employees they've taken under their wing when it comes to promotion, salary increases, or new opportunities. They can also be matched with individuals on another team to help them build skills outside of their current role that they can use throughout their careers.
High potentials make great mentors. They've most likely had a mentor themselves, and can role model the behaviors they've experienced directly. They provide excellent coaching, feedback, and information about what's important in the organization. High potentials can also be teachers in an organization's professional development and management programs. They also help identify others with potential. They know what to look for.
They're a key resource for managers who are building targeted development plans for these individuals. Bottom line, they can have a big impact on the career progression of others in the organization. There's much more to developing high potentials than just focusing on them. Get them involved in developing others. It's a win-win for high potentials and for the individual, and your organization benefits from developing strong future leaders.