Promote Leaders To A Behavioral Benchmark

Put yourself here for a minute. You’re sitting behind the wheel of your car when to your surprise, your “Low Fuel” light comes on. To your relief there is a gas station just up ahead, so you pull in and notice the octane level sign says “Octane Kind Of Around 85 Or So”. You look in your car manual and the specifications say “Minimum octane recommendations unknown”. Now you’re thinking, what do I need, what am I getting exactly, and how do I know my car will perform like I want”? You don’t have the specific information you need to make a good decision.


Relate this to identifying the right people to groom for highest performance in your future leadership roles. To make good decisions, you need to know more specifically what is needed, what is available, and specifically what behaviors fit the required role. These specifics are called benchmarks (requirements), and can only be set with a highly reliable normative assessment.

Like the car manual, you need to know the specific behavioral measurements of the culture the leaders will have to mesh with. Assuming a culture is “kind of independent” isn’t good enough. You need to know on a scale of 1 – 10, the culture a leader will have to fit is a 4.3 on a scale of 1-10 on independence specifically. A high performer in that role must be a minimum of a 6 on Learning Index, and maximum of an 8 on Objective Judgement. You know this because you used a normative assessment and you have set the performance benchmarks.

You will get the performance you expect from your car if you know specifically what fuel is required and what fuel is available to match that requirement so you have confidence the car will do what you want. It takes years to groom your future leaders and there are dire consequences for getting it wrong. Use a normative assessment to determine the behavioral benchmarks to promote to so you can identify the right people to fit those roles to get the performance you want.