What role can Gallup’s StrengthsFinders assessment play in helping with successful Succession Planning?

As anyone faced with an upcoming vacancy at their leadership table is aware, selecting and developing future leaders is a crucial task – and a big concern for many companies. Particularly for C-Level roles this process can be daunting; fortunately, the StrengthsFinders assessments can play a key role in this process. Whether hiring from within or seeking external talent, knowing the strengths, limitations and aspirations of employees as well as the leading talents and strengths needed for the job are key steps in the Succession Planning process

Mind the Gaps

Use the StrengthsFinder Team Grid to predict and chart timing of departing strengths and identify the dimensions needed to fill the impending gaps.  Gallup’s research identified four dimensions of leader performance that differentiate highly successful leaders. These dimensions are Execution (making things happen), Influence (selling Ideas internally and externally), Relationship Building (ability to create connections), and Strategic Thinking (ability to envision and articulate future). Facing the departure of a key leader is a good time to assess the landscape of talent at the table and calibrate for the future of the organization.

Integrate assessment results in to development plans for Internal talent

The results of the StrengthsFinder assessment can be integrated into personal development plans and equip future leaders to develop the areas of greatest potential both in themselves and in their teams.  Additionally, the Strengths profile can be used on the job to coach internal candidates on developing his or her leadership strengths and building complementary partnerships to leverage the talents of other team members.

Reposition talent as organizational needs change

As an organization grows and evolves, its leadership requirements may change significantly and necessitate periodic needs assessments to balance the range and depth of necessary strengths to be effective. A key component to success in succession planning is provided by the Strengths Finders’ systematic and consistent method of assessment, which allows executives to identify their collective areas of strength and opportunity as a team.

Even though no leader is perfectly well-rounded, effective teams must be! When organizations understand the strengths their current leaders have and intentionally position them to use their talents for the greatest effect, both the individual and the organizations are more efficient, engaged and productive.


Michelle Smirnoff

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