WHITE PAPER — OPTIMIZING YOUR LEADERSHIP PIPELINE INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTORS
Knowledge Individual contributors need:
Technical and professional skills.
In-depth knowledge of their business unit’s products, services, and customers.
Knowledge of business processes, and an understanding of how they contribute to the success of their teams and workgroups.
Knowledge of their team’s goals, and how those goals fit into the overall corporate strategy.
One way to look at experience is,“what an individual has done.” We add the qualifier “successfully” to the end of this definition to distinguish individual contributors who might have years of experience but are less than effective from those that we see as exceptional performers. Individual contrib- utors may not be formal leaders, but one can still consider common informal leadership experiences such as:
Working on a team.
Successfully dealing with internal and external customers.
Exposure to concepts that are appropriate to the work, such as Lean or Six Sigma.
Some individual contributors may also be informal leaders, heading up work- groups or task forces (but not directly managing others).
Exceptional performers should exhibit the following attributes:
Works well with others.
Sustains a positive outlook to approach challenges with confidence and realistic optimism.
A drive to succeed.
Demonstrates discipline with a structured approach to decision making and the ability to manage one’s own workload.
Maintains high work and ethical standards.
Inspires confidence and elicits trust in others.
Demonstrates a continuous learning orientation and rapidly applies new information to work issues and problems.
Success ProfilesSM paint the target. There are a variety of means to develop and confirm them. An efficient means involves the use of the online job analysis advice and tools contained in DDI’s Success Profiles: Navigator®. This software guides and documents the process from start to finish.
ASSESSING INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTORS
Once a Success Profile is determined, a range of assessment tools help organizations measure an individual against the competen- cies, knowledge, experience, and personal attributes defined by the Profile. We commonly see three distinct reasons that prompt organizations to evaluate individual contributors, which are:
To assess how an individual is performing in their current role.
To uncover leadership potential and the likelihood of leadership growth. (This reason is covered in our paper addressing aspiring and incumbent frontline leaders.)
To determine readiness for and fit with a new role, job, or job family.
In this section, we’ll detail a number of assessment options to assess performance and readiness.
© Development Dimensions International, Inc., MMIX-MMX. All rights reserved.