Employers make three common mistakes when considering candidates to put into leadership roles.
A very common belief is that past performance is the best predictor of future performance. But all that past performance shows is that the person was able to do what was demanded in the past; it says nothing about what the person could do with new challenges.
Another is hiring someone who looks like me. People like people they can communicate easily with, and feel that a common background reduces uncertainty about who this other person is – which is not an effective way to choose leaders.
A third example is not defining well enough what a company is looking for. You need to know the challenges that the person is going to have to deal with. For example, many investors do not have experience leading the sort of company they have invested in, and so they lack a feel for the challenges of dealing with the rest of the management team, customers, and even the other investors.
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