The growing need for identifying potential beyond skills and past results




The growing need for identifying potential beyond skills and past results   

By Vanessa Richardson

Potential by definition is the ability to adapt to and grow into increasingly complex roles and environments.  It is our aptitude to produce results even in an intricate and demanding culture.  In some sense, it is how we measure value and is likely the hallmark of success.  In his book, It’s Not the How but the Who, by executive search advisor Claudio Fernanez-Araoz, he is quoted as stating that in his ‘thirty plus years evaluating and tracking executives as well as studying the key factors in their performance, he now considers potential to the most important predictor of success at all levels, from junior management to the C-suite and the board.’

Historically the focus has been on a candidate’s skill set which seems and often times is sensible, however the primary focus should lean towards value if the expectations are result driven.  The article “Stop Hiring for Skills and Start Hiring for Results”,, emphasizes the importance of knowing exactly what you will want from your hire and recognizing what they can bring to the table besides just their skills. 

According to Fernandez-Araoz, the ability to choose employees with leadership potential will become more critical in the coming years, as globalization, demographics, and underdeveloped pipelines of future company leaders will make senior talent more scarce; making recruiting firms more sought after than ever.  He cites a Boston Consulting Group survey showing that 56% of executives see critical gaps in their ability to fill senior management roles in the coming years, hypothesizing that outsourcing for these roles will become critical. Recruiting for these traits is labor-intensive, complex, and requires a rare set of skills and expertise.  It is predicted the demand for search firms will only increase over time as the requisites of cultural fit, leadership potential, and measured outcomes are at the forefront of preferred criteria.  

While a well-documented solid skill set is nothing to dismiss, it does not always translate to those qualities necessary for tangible results.  Utilizing a third party with the resources and expertise to qualify these candidates not only provides a pool of candidates with the desired skills but will include those who will meet the core values of that particular organization. Evaluating talent, potential, and leadership are abilities that only come from the experience of assessing for these traits over a long period of time.  Knowing the value a candidate can bring to a specific role rather than the skill set may be the very factor that determines long-term success. 


Integrated People Solutions is an executive placement firm in Denver, Colorado, and is part of the Kennedy Executive Network


About Kennedy Executive

Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting is a global partner network of retained search boutiques in Europe, Africa, North America and Asia Pacific with offices in Amsterdam, Budapest, Copenhagen, Denver, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, London, Milan, Monaco, Oslo, Paris, Prague, Sydney and Vienna. The network covers 360 degrees of talent management: executive search finds and assesses the right talent in the market, consulting develops people and organizations. With the addition of Evolve South Africa, Kennedy is now active on 4 continents and in 14 countries and offers a global reach. Between the 75+ consultants and researchers, 30 languages are spoken. As a network Kennedy will run 365 strategic recruitments all over the world this year. Kennedy Executive Search & Consulting helps organizations to achieve their goals and people to enhance their careers every day.




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Simon Roads

Vice President of Sales

Born and raised in England, Simon Roads has had a distinguished career in various forms of aviation spanning over 45 years. His journey began as an A&P mechanic in the Royal Air Force and has encompassed a range of roles, ultimately leading to his position as the VP of Global Sales for Honda Aircraft. Throughout this extensive career, he has had the privilege of closely collaborating with Royalty, Dignitaries, and high net worth individuals, providing them with unparalleled expertise and a steadfast commitment to excellence in aviation services.

Having been immersed in the aviation industry for nearly half a century, his wealth of insights and knowledge has established him as a trusted figure within the field. His extensive experience has provided him with the opportunity to engage with diverse cultures, interacting with individuals from various walks of life, and ensuring that their distinctive requirements and preferences are met with the utmost precision.

One of his notable strengths lies in his adeptness at effectively managing global teams. Over the course of his career, he has demonstrated successful leadership and mentorship of professionals from different backgrounds and nationalities, fostering an environment characterized by collaboration, growth, and mutual respect.

Understanding different cultures has played a pivotal role in his professional journey. By taking part in the customs, traditions, and practices of his clients he not only fosters strong relationships but has also gained a profound appreciation for the unique needs and expectations of each of his clients.

Away from work, his priority is his family. His role as grandad to three wonderful boys, brings him immense joy. He has a penchant for outdoor activities such as cycling, kayaking, and golf. Additionally, he has developed a passion for cooking and continually seeks to learn new culinary techniques. The art of balancing life and work is an ongoing journey for him, and he considers himself fortunate to be able to savor the best of both worlds.

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Meredith Stanley

Executive Recruiter

Meredith joined IPS in 2023 as an Executive Recruiter with over 5 years of recruiting experience at Amazon and Lyft. Prior to making the shift to recruiting, Meredith was an Executive Assistant for over 3 years at a Seattle-based insurance company. With a passion for finding top talent, Meredith has hired for a wide range of roles across North America in the hardware, micromobility, operations, transportation, and tech spaces.

After an unsuccessful attempt at a Chemical Engineering degree, Meredith graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies.

Meredith has a passion for live music, playing both piano and trombone. She also enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors either skiing, hiking or scuba diving.

You can contact Meredith at

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