This Is Why Companies Seek High Potential Personalities

Behavioral scientist's perspective on HPP core personality drivers. Notes from my practice.

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Credit:Gerd Altmann
Credit:Gerd Altmann

For the past 10 years, I have had the pleasure to serve High potentials personality clients (HPPs) in my practice. The seminal work on HPPs is led by MacRae & Furnham’s research and they have identified six traits that are associated with HPPs. They are highly sought after in companies because they are able to perform much more quickly and effectively than other personality types. 

What are some of the core drivers of the main traits that HPPs have in common? 

Excellence-driven. They are not just results-driven, they are excellence-driven. Excellence to the HPP does not come at the expense of someone else. Excellence is considered a standard that creates higher credibility for them.  

Future focused. They are always on the lookout for new opportunities so that they can acquire new skills and competencies. When they don’t see new opportunities, they create opportunities. They are very future oriented in their skill and competencies acquisition. 

Relationships managers. They master networking by nurturing rather than using/leveraging for some other gain. They create “social bridges” with their networks and have  genuine interest in getting to know people personally.

Desire to be more self-aware. They have a desire to be more self-aware and are highly receptive to feedback. They leverage mistakes and setbacks as learning opportunities and apply those lessons to the future rather than ruminating about how it could have been different had they only did x.

Collaborators. HPPs are strong collaborators and can work with people across and outside of their organizations. They focus on involving and communicating with the right people in order to meet goals collectively rather than just going for ego-driven pats on the back.

Humble: HPPs are assertive, yet humble. They understand that assertiveness is the key differentiator but they achieve respect by being humble about it. Remember, they aren’t looking for accolades and aren’t trying to be authoritative, they are seeking to be excellent as their standard of beingness.

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