It’s a scenario we see all the time, across companies, rank, and experience. Maybe you can relate:
Imagine someone — we’ll call him John — eyeing a promotion at work in a leadership position. John worked extremely hard in his current role, delivering above and beyond his performance goals for the last year. He was told that he’d been identified as a high potential in his organization. But when he brought up a promotion with his boss, Diane, she didn’t think he was ready. She said he had immense potential, but he lacked some critical leadership skills needed to advance to the next step in his career.
John was crushed. He couldn’t see a path ahead for himself at the organization. John considered it a massive blow. That evening, he spoke to his closest friends about how this could mean the end of the road at this firm for him.
The next day, Diane called him to her office. She encouraged him to work on his weaknesses and take on some extra projects to develop his strengths and then try again for the promotion afterwards.
He would need to discover what his areas of growth as a leader might be and work toward addressing them first. She told him about a similar moment that happened early in her career and recommended that he speak to Fareed, an HR partner at their firm. She gave Fareed a heads up and connected them via email.
Fareed recommended that John take an assessment for development. Based on John’s role, he recommended the Benchmarks for Managers 360 for Development, created by the Center for Creative Leadership and backed by decades of research.
This was John’s first 360 assessment despite years at the organization, and he wondered if this was a sign that he was in trouble as an employee. But Fareed clarified that it was quite the opposite. The results of the 360 would be confidential. The information provided to John would be purely for his personal and professional development, and not seen or used by anyone else at the organization.
So John invited his manager, his superiors, his direct reports, and his peers at the organization to serve as raters on his 360, providing their candid feedback on his performance from their unique perspectives. The results showed some key areas of improvement for John, particularly around the competencies of communicating a vision and building trust — both of which, he realized, were needed for this management role he wanted in his promotion.
As Fareed walked John through his results on the Benchmarks for Managers 360, he also had John log into CCL Compass™.
Compass — a tool designed to help people spend less time interpreting results and more time developing stronger leadership skills — helped John connect the dots in ways he could never have imagined.
He looked at his report dynamically, moving things around to focus on what he cared about with Compass’ easy-to-understand and visual breakdown of his results. The customized content helped him synthesize the feedback from his raters and identify the leadership behaviors that his colleagues said he excelled at — and there were some surprises!
He also saw his areas of improvement, and flagged those as important to work on. The deep algorithms and logic built into Compass immediately gave him high-level competencies to work on and specific steps to take which would help him build those needed capacities.
John reviewed the descriptions of the competencies in great detail. He selected some of the suggested specific short-term projects to work on that related directly with the skills he needed to build. While keeping the overall feedback private, John shared his new goals with his manager directly through CCL Compass and also scheduled specific follow-up action items for himself over the next few months using the calendar sync function.
The short term projects were difficult, but John continued to work on them. And John took on a great deal of additional work throughout the next year. He really felt himself stretch as a person and a professional. His boss and various other superiors saw this stretch, and the results of his hard work. John continued to rely on Compass as a development tool based on his assessment feedback, and he could feel it paying off.
A year has passed since that day when John was denied a promotion and felt that his career and growth at the firm were stalled. Today, John actually feels much better about the work he is doing, the motivation he sees on his team and the progress he’s made towards his goals.
When he walks into his boss’s office now, he walks in confident and positive — not even looking for the promotion that he was offered when he sat down.
Nothing great is ever achieved the easy way.
This scenario isn’t an aberration — it’s by design. Leaders who pair Compass with our Skillscope 360 assessment and Benchmarks for Managers can make tremendous strides in their professional journey, discovering strengths and weaknesses and determining actionable steps towards their goals. John’s example can become your story.
Every leader must walk the path themselves, but a Compass makes the journey a lot easier.
Interested? Learn more about Compass and assess how this online tool can help on your leadership journey.