What is performance potential? Has there ever been a case in your company of a great professional who was promoted and after the adaptation period the new position left something to be desired? This story is certainly repeated every day in the most diverse companies and business areas. These and other cases prove the so-called Peter Principle, which says that people are promoted one step beyond their ability. Certainly a key point to prevent this from happening is knowing the potential for future performance before moving the person or seeking a promotion.
Potential is relative to potency, it indicates latent ability, imminent aptitude, future talent available to be exploited. Its existence varies according to the objective. Broadly speaking, while someone very creative has high potential to work with advertising creation, for example, the methodical and super disciplined guy has difficulties in doing so, having low potential for a creative career and high potential for a career in logistics, for example.
POTENTIAL = level of consistency between what it takes for a challenge X the person’s personality.
Primarily it is not just a single characteristic that determines the potential for one thing or another, but a set. The more a professional’s personality traits are consistent with the challenges of the role or position, the greater their potential for future performance.
Personality is our automatic, our essence, what we do naturally, without thinking, is intuitive, spontaneous. Whenever the situation requires us to be ourselves, we swim with the current.
Personality is formed in early childhood, up to 2, 7 or 14 years old, depending on the line of research. According to Holland, it is the result of genetics, experiences at this stage of life and the influence of parental figures. In summary, the important thing is that in adult life the personality is formed. And once formed, except in cases of trauma, the personality does not change.
However, what changes are the behaviors we adapt throughout life to live better in society. When that means adjusting our nature, we play characters. Doing this for half an hour a day can be easy, especially if you have a goal behind you. The problem starts when we play all day. The human being is intelligent and learns, but sustaining the staging requires a very high level of energy. In seeking to be someone else, the day ends exhausted and unhappy.
In addition, as much as someone is able to adapt behaviors, going against nature itself, let’s remember that we are in a permanent state of competition. Above all, we compete with other candidates, peers, the competitor, other alternatives. If your company competes in the market using what is the result of very high effort and the competitor competes with a team that does the same things ‘with their back foot’, your position is always at a disadvantage.
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Published in September 2022.