Shockingly Different LeadershipTop HIPO Leadership Competencies

The term “high-potential leader” (commonly called HIPO) is the term commonly used by organizations to label their most promising next-generation leadership talent.  These are the individuals who have been identified as showing the most promise to take on broader roles or more senior positions in the near future.

Through our research in working with over 10,000 high potential leaders, we have identified 7 HIPO leadership competencies which are essential to accelerated development and growth of leadership capability.

We acknowledge that there are many additional leadership competencies in existence, but we have found that these 7 HIPO leadership competencies, developed in combination with each other, greatly accelerate the probability for top performers to become “ready-now” for roles of greater scope and responsibility.

We have listed the 7 HIPO leadership competencies and their definitions below:

The first 3 competencies focus on empowering the individual :

1. Intellectual Horsepower:  The ability to use your areas of expertise to “peek around corners” in order to spot trends, connect the dots, and identify new areas of opportunity that others miss.

2.  Strategic Decision-Making:  The ability to make good decisions or lead a good decision making process, based on top strategic goals and priorities.

3.  Executive Presence: The ability to make clear and convincing oral and/or written presentations in order to influence and lead others.


The second 2 competencies focus on empowering the team:

4. Courageous Agility: The ability to have the fortitude to take calculated risks to stand up for what you believe and do the right thing, even when the consequences and/or future is unclear.

5. Stakeholder Savvy:  The ability to assess interpersonal dynamics and operate effectively in a variety of social situations.


The final 2 competencies focus on empowering the results of the organization:

6. Drive For Results:  The ability to be persistent and tenacious in ensuring goals are achieved.

7. Intrpreneurship: The ability to build the organization by identifying new opportunities to develop or improve operations, products or services.

Top 7 Competencies For HIPO Leaders