How can I tell if an executive has real potential for top management? What are the signs of success?
- Dedication. Just plain, sheer devotion.
- Competitiveness. Good executives can’t stand to lose. They are interested only in winning.
- Honesty. How honest is he with himself? How honest is he with you?
- Realism. He has his feet on the ground. He doesn’t just dream about how great he’s going to be someday. If he’s always seeing the big picture and never the details, he’s in trouble. The good executive is looking at how he’s going to get where he wants to be. He is almost compulsive about the little things, the short steps, the pennies.
- Maturity. He knows that his own future rests on what happens to other people. He can fire a man who does not contribute to the well-being of the organization.
Finally a good potential president is able to handle multiple pressures. The president of a large dry cleaning and laundry company in New York puts it this way: “Anyone can do a good job if you give them one problem at a time and all the time he needs to solve it. But when I see a man unwilling to pay attention to anything else until he gets his one little problem solved, I worry. That kind of man never knows there’s a fire next door until the whole company burns down.”
~ Mortimer R. Feinberg, Ph.D., Effective Psychology For Mangers, (1965)