“Of all the words of voice or pen, the saddest are what might have been.” – John Greenleaf Whittier

In many companies, after a thorough evaluation and several interviews, someone is hired to perform in a management or leadership role. Later, when the same individual leaves, voluntarily or otherwise, they excel in a similar or differing role at another company.

The phrase we have coined for this occurrence is, “Whatever Happened to What’s His Name?” However, to understand, what happened to them, you need to understand the real reasons for the perceived failure of said individual.

Mis-hires frequently occur when someone is identified that possesses certain skills or behaviors, such as negotiation, conflict resolution, or empathy, yet their performance does not meet what is anticipated. While most companies can identify with this example, they do not demonstrate the necessary awareness to update their hiring and training of leaders.

Here are five styles of leadership we have identified in our behavioral studies:

1. Management Style: Individuals who follow, practice, and teach an aggressive yet customer-satisfaction oriented style. They understand the need to work within the system and rules.
2. Teaching/Training Style: Individuals who understand the purpose and intent of systematic methods, and train based on those methods.
3. Coaching Style: Individuals who focus on reviewing, critiquing, and offering guidance to those they supervise.
4. Learning Style: Individuals who focus on research, respond to new systems and advanced methods of lead management, and accordingly alter their processes.
5. Enhancement Style: Individuals who develop new methods to respond to the needs of their customers and direct reports and can remain objective.

We promote the use of an assessment called “The Leadership and Competency Evaluation © (L.A.C.E.)” Note that it is not a test. There is no passing or failing score assigned to its usage. It was developed to provide specific information to companies, existing leaders, and new executive hires based on current competencies. As a result, a business can develop a strategic plan where certain skills below an acceptable range can be implemented, modified, or augmented, which will reduce mis-hires and turnover.

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