Nancy Duarte and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic designed a short test allowing you to assess how comfortable you are with public speaking which tops the list of common phobias, ranking just above fear of death.
Your answers to these 24 scale questions will highlight what issues you can address and will also suggest you tips to manage your emotional response and become a more effective presenter, given your answers in six key areas: confidence in expertise, extraversion vs. introversion, ability to empathise, self-esteem, optimism vs. pessimism and response to perceived threats.
A research carried out amongst 2,600 executives by Steven N. Kaplan at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Morten Sorensen at Copenhagen Business School using data collected during more than ten years shows that candidates for C-suite positions (CEO, CFO, COO and others) can be classified by four primary factors: general ability, execution skills, charisma and strategic skills.
Interestingly, researchers observed that CEO candidates tend to score higher on all four of these factors but also that hired candidates score higher than all assessed candidates on interpersonal skills (for each job category) suggesting that such skills are important in the selection process.
Scores on the four factors also predict future career progression. Non-CEO candidates who score higher on the four factors are subsequently more likely to become CEOs.
Those results are relevant to previous academic work. So, if your ambition is to lead a company it will be useful to consider a self-assessment based on the 30 characteristics* componing the four predictive factors. This will help you find out if your profile ‘fits’ or if working on yourself on specific dimensions is recommended.
In a previous article we have seen that, little by little, robots replace humans: one recent study suggests that 47% of all jobs in the United States will be threatened by this phenomenon within the next two decades – another states that 40% of Australian jobs are at risk of being automated within ten to fifteen years. In Europe, the software Quill has already replaced journalists and is used by the newspaper Le Monde during election nights. The specialised research firm Roland Berger says that 42% of jobs will be automated by 2030.
Should you be worried? Karie Willyerd and Barbara Mistick developed a short (i.e. 15 questions) assessment allowing you to find out if you are at risk or if you are adapting yourself in an evolving environment. Your score will be compared with HBR readers average.
To pass the test which will consider various topics such as how up to date you are regarding the emerging technologies affecting your industry and the profile of your network , click here.
Pursuing this matter, let’s consider what the futurists Graeme Codrington, Joe Tankersley and John Danaher say: front-line military personnel will be replaced with robots; private bankers and wealth managers will be replaced with algorithms; lawyers, accountants, actuaries, and consulting engineers will be replaced with artificial intelligence.
And considering on-demand economy, environmental consciousness, ageing population or advances in neurotechnology, what will be the top jobs in 10 years? Actually, here is the top 12 they predict (click here for the full description):
The 360-degree feedback – or multi-source assessment – is often used by corporations to plan and map specific paths in leaders’ development as they provide them with empirical data highlighting strengths and weaknesses (or ‘areas for improvement’).
If it dates back to the 1950s, it is even more relevant today as we realise that effective leaders need to have a positive self-awareness but also an appropriate dose of humility, knowing what they are good at, acknowledging they are not great at everything, and realising they can improve, too.
Zenger Folkman have defined a list of 11 components characterising a best-in-class 360° assessment. Some of those really caught my attention:
Use response scale like “Outstanding Strength, Strength, Competent, Needs Some Improvement, or Needs Significant Improvement” that avoids a false positive. Indeed, classical scales going from « Strongly agree » to « Strongly disagree » often let average performers believe they do well when items such as « Innovates », « Takes initiatives » or « Champions change » are rated « Agree » while they are just OK… and OK being not enough.
Compare scores to a high standard and not to the average of respondents, as leaders who are the best performers make an enormous difference in the performance of the company. This induces what I call the « look up » attitude.
Identify the most important competencies, especially if the survey includes many items to rate. This will help people define priorities.
Emphasize building on strengths, not only on weaknesses. It makes the experience positive, ensuring leaders identify their greatest skills. This includes the need to provide insights on how build strengths.
Focus written comments on fixing fatal flaws, not minor improvements. Asking « Is there anything this person does that might be considered a significant weakness or fatal flaw? » instead of describing areas for improvement gives a straightforward output and not a long vague list of suggestions.
Make it an efficient process, i.e. make the survey short, especially when respondents have to supply feedback for many people.
That being said, let’s keep in mind that 360-degree assessments are 100%… subjective per se. The way people evaluate a colleague is implicitely a way to say how they perform or an expression of their own competences. The scores they give reflect their perception, they are not an evaluation made by a sample of experts or by a representative sample of the population. Somehow, I consider a 360-degree evaluation as both a portrait (of the leader) and a self-portrait (of the organisation).
In this context, the coaching which should necessarily be included in the process will link measurement and emotions. Considering scores, statements and reactions from both assessed and assessing parties, it will be used as a springboard to proceed to a honest self-reflection, whatever the scores observed in the assessment could be, whatever the discrepancy between what people think about themselves and what others do.