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brand eins – Firms Facing Change Look for Leaders with Potential

When it comes to choosing top leaders, today’s companies prefer potential over competencies, according to Moritz von Campenhausen, head of Egon Zehnder’s Leadership Services Practice Group in Germany. “Companies are seeking leaders for tasks and markets that they don’t really know much about yet,” von Campenhausen tells the German magazine brand eins. “So they are turning to individuals who can be trusted to take the right decisions for the organization in the future and have demonstrated a flexible approach to tackling unfamiliar issues in the past. Expertise and experience are still essential, of course, but the new buzzword is potential. Potential is now beating competencies hands down,” notes von Campenhausen. Rapidly changing business cycles and growing complexity are also making tactical career planning almost impossible for today’s executives, he adds. Von Campenhausen sums up the situation as follows: “What good does the best chess player’s strategy do him when mid-match the game suddenly switches to Go!”

Full story: Lisa Rüffer & Dirk Böttcher "Schach oder Go?“ ("Chess or Go?") in, brand eins, p. 79-83 (July 2017). Full article only available to subscribers.

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