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Who’s the Best Fit?

How do I make sure I’m investing in the right people to get the results and ROI my company deserves?

This is an important question to consider when selecting potential candidates for the Accelerated Leader Program (ALP) and I want you to make the most informed decision possible. There aren’t always hard-and-fast answers to this type of question but it may be simpler than you think to make a profitable selection.

In this section I’ll give you some information to help you do some preliminary thinking about who’s the best fit. I’ll share my typical client profile, offer some tools to evaluate candidates and outline some common client scenarios where I’ve had super results.

My hope is that the combination of this information will guide your thought process to make best choice as easily as possible.

The “Best Fit” Bottom Line
(The Typical Footprint Client Profile)

ALP is specifically designed for emerging leaders. If you “know” your participant fits the following demographic it’s likely there’s a good fit.

  • Age range: 30-45.
  • Attitudes: Go-getter; do what it takes; willing to learn.
  • Attributes: Bright, energetic.
  • Ambitions: Interesting, challenging career if it can work with personal priorities.
  • Personal priorities: Juggling professional ambitions with a young family and/or active personal life.
  • Professional results: Sometimes shorter but promising track record of success.
  • Organization views them as: “High-potential” or an “up-and-comer.”

If you’re interested in more depth, the section below will give you a fuller look at the Four Key Success Factors in selection. Alternatively, the three-minute “Best Fit Index” will provide you with a quick, quantifiable idea of the suitability of any individuals you’re considering.

Four Key Success Factors to Consider in Selection

There are four factors to think about when selecting a potential ALP program candidate. All are important to a successful and profitable engagement for you and the organization.

  1. Potential to generate value (now, and in the future)
  2. Identified performance gap
  3. Participant attitude and outlook
  4. Readiness to engage

Success Factor 1: Potential to Generate Value

Naturally, you want a significant ROI on your investment. But how do you spot someone’s “potential to generate value?” While it can be difficult to measure, two observable factors can quickly point to a candidate’s potential:

1. Current business results
2. Current observable behaviour

More about the fit of each value-producer quadrant with ALP

The goal of the program is to move the individual to Q2 or take Q2 to a new level.

Q4: Up-and-Comer Producer - excellent ALP fit.
Signs of a Q2 producer beginning to emerge. Excellent opportunity to foster and capture significant leadership potential. See Factor 3 and 4 below.

Q2: The Long-term Producer – great ALP fit.
A natural fit for taking super results to a new level.

Q1: The Dominant Producer – potential ALP fit.
Highly dependant on attitude of participant (Success Factor 3) and if they are genuinely motivated to change behaviour.

Q3: The Low Producer – poor ALP fit.
Remedial intervention is most appropriate here. Possible job/personal/culture fit issues need to be addressed first. Suggest moving to Q3 before being considered for ALP.

Success Factor 2: Identified Performance Gap

The menu below outlines a condensed list of the performance gaps ALP can address. If you see opportunity for improvement in two or more of these areas, the participant will get significant value from the program.
  • Raising the bar – Consistently looks to improve services or situations and is not limited by past solutions. Increased comfort level for trying new approaches.
  • Proactively shaping the future – Takes accountability and drives change “from below” without relying on direction or instruction from supervisors.
  • Bigger, wider thinking - Thinks beyond their department and the day-to-day, creates compelling ideas for the future and implements them effectively.
  • Impacting and influencing others – Successfully communicates ideas and direction and creates not only mental but emotional buy-in and commitment.
  • Entrepreneurial and strategic thinking - Looking for opportunity; generating and driving value for both internal and external customers efficiently and effectively.
  • Results orientation - Becoming focused on results they create and less on who gets the credit.
  • This is a PARTIAL list of the competencies ALP addresses. If you’re interested in seeing a more extended listing please visit “Where’s the Gap?

Success Factor 3: Personal Attitudes and Outlook

This is an extremely important piece of the puzzle and admittedly the toughest one to measure. If the participant shares most of the traits below, working together will be a natural fit.

  • Genuine and open – Willingness to acknowledge their shortcomings (at least in private conversation) and be open to new ideas.
  • Committed to success – Having the impact they want is rarely the easy route. They have a “go-getter” approach to make things happen.
  • Strong desire to contribute – It's not just about the money, but also about making a difference with those they work with, and for.
  • Passion for excellence – They have no interest in being average or producing average results.
  • Prepared to take appropriate risk – Courage is at the heart of growth, learning and leadership. They understand risk the key to playing a bigger game.
  • Knowing the importance of supportive relationships – Appreciate the value of another perspective understand that no one is an island.
  • Respect for themselves and others – They measure the results they achieve by what they had to give up to get them.
  • Great sense of humour – They don’t have to be a comedian, but an ability to look at the lighter side of life makes the journey so much easier and productive.

Success Factor 4: Readiness to Engage

The participant may have the potential to add significant value, an identified performance gap and a favourable attitude, but is now the right time to engage? Below are some common scenarios of highly productive ALP engagements:

  • Thirsty for opportunity - They may be asking you for more challenging assignments, monitoring internal (or external) job postings or asking you to introduce them to other people in the company. You know they need to be challenged to stay interested and productive.
  • Not meeting performance targets - You know the individual has potential but there’s a performance gap (see Success Factor 2 above). You know if they can just get that one development piece taken care of they’ll be off to the races.
  • Buried or overworking themselves – You know they’re eager but the pace they’re going at just isn’t sustainable. They’ve started to drop balls and you may be wondering what’s really being missed. You want to give them the tools to be more effective without burning themselves out.
  • Holding themselves back professionally because of family priorities - They may not own up to this one but you suspect it’s true. The trouble is they’re assuming that more responsibility means working LONGER (vs. working differently). You want to realize the full value they bring to the table while honouring their commitments outside of work.
  • Being groomed for a bigger role or recently promoted into one. This may be a formal role change or simply an informal work team arrangement. In either case, they’re out of their comfort zone. They need effective ways to let go of control and handle the people side of things with confidence.
  • Something REALLY didn’t go as planned. The “failure” may have shaken their confidence and may be causing them to question their ability. Although they may not be open about it, they’re looking for other approaches or a means of dealing with the set-back without loosing face. You want them to recover quickly and build on the experience.

I hope this information was a good beginning to your evaluation

Remember, the information above is a starting point. If after going through this section you determine there might be a fit, let’s talk first before introducing ALP to the potential participant. I don’t accept people into the program without interviewing you first and having the candidate interview me as well.

If a potential candidate has come to you while reading this, you may want to use the “Best Fit Index”as another gauge.

Would you like to investigate this further?

If what you’ve read here has got you thinking about some candidates in particular or you’d simply like to explore things further, I’d encourage you to contact me using the form below. Of course you’re welcome to call as well, 705-357-0004.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

  Yes, I’m interested finding out more about ALP or discussing a potential fit(s) for the program.  


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