I took a $1,000 character check for Fortune 500 CEOs to see if I’m match for the nook workplace. Right here’s what I discovered about my management model

I took a $1,000 character check for Fortune 500 CEOs to see if I’m match for the nook workplace. Right here’s what I discovered about my management model


“It could get uncomfortable,” Jackie Sahm, vp of interactive options at Hogan Evaluation Techniques, tells me. We’re roughly 40 minutes into our practically two-and-a-half-hour digital assembly analyzing the outcomes of three character and growth assessments I accomplished the earlier week.

On the finish of the session, Sahm will recount “the story of Trey,” as she places it, simply as she used to when her day-to-day consisted of conducting one-on-one conferences with senior executives being thought-about for the nook workplace.

Whereas nobody’s asking me to be CEO of a world multi-billion greenback enterprise operation, that hasn’t stopped me from pondering a couple of times: “They need to simply let me run the corporate.” So, I made a decision to check whether or not I’ve what it takes to steer a sprawling group.

In lots of circles, Hogan Assessments is taken into account the trade normal in serving to firms and govt search companies assess whether or not a CEO candidate has the correct character and character to take the helm. The check, developed within the ’80s by the Oklahoma-based HR consulting agency Hogan Evaluation Techniques, makes use of knowledge science paired with psychoanalysis to foretell job efficiency based mostly on in-depth character assessments. Govt recruiting companies, similar to Heidrick & Struggles and Russell Reynolds, and boards at Fortune 500 firms use the leads to succession choices as a part of an internet of assessments, as I’ve beforehand reported.

“Character predicts efficiency simply in addition to cognitive potential or different talents checks,” Sahm says.

Hogan’s evaluation course of—the one Sahm put me by way of—consists of three checks that, when analyzed collectively, paint a reasonably thorough image of an govt. Some executives take the assessments a number of instances whereas working with govt coaches to study the place they should enhance to greatest meet the corporate’s management wants. That course of could happen over months or years, relying on the timing for succession.

“It will get into the crevices, the nooks and crannies of your character and character. We expect in the event you’re not uncomfortable, you’re in all probability not rising, and if we inform you a bunch of belongings you already knew about your self that make you’re feeling actually good, we’ve not likely achieved our job,” Sahm says.

I accomplished the three assessments, which took me simply over one hour. The common is 12 to fifteen minutes per evaluation, however I admittedly took longer as a result of I used to be jotting down notes and overthinking a few of the prompts.

Hogan’s assessments aren’t too dissimilar to different behavioral assessments, like DiSC and Myers Briggs. However quite than sure or no questions, Hogan’s checks use statements similar to, “I usually marvel how I received to be the best way I’m,” to which candidates choose a variety spanning “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.”

Different inquiries featured on the evaluation embody: “I typically get irritated at issues normally.” “I do most issues higher than nearly everybody I do know.” “I are likely to concentrate on my errors greater than my successes.” “I can discuss my approach out of just about something.” “The general public I’ve labored for are incompetent.”

For instance, Myers Briggs casts me as an INTJ-T, whereas Hogan breaks down outcomes into completely different scales like sociability, recognition, or aesthetics. There are 28 scales damaged down into extra detailed subscales skilled psychologists use to make inferences about executives’ personalities, management capabilities, and relational expertise. My report, as an example, reveals a excessive recognition rating, suggesting that I are usually motivated by a want to be praised and celebrated for my accomplishments, be within the highlight, and change into well-known.

The primary of the three assessments, the character stock, is what Hogan calls the intense facet evaluation. It measures who you’re whenever you’re at your greatest—after a full evening’s sleep, stress-free, and firing on all cylinders. The second is a growth survey, or, ominously put, the darkish facet profile. It measures who you’re at your worst. Final is the motives, values, and preferences stock, which seeks to seize what impels you and your objective.

Sahm says the questions are designed to be tough to sport. “If the query says, ‘I’m formidable: true or false,’ it’s fairly straightforward to inform what we’re making an attempt to get at,” she explains. “However we could ask you a query like, ‘It’s exhausting for me to get pleasure from a sport until I win.’ That offers us some perception into your ambition.”

I took the evaluation extremely severely. I don’t sometimes subscribe to character checks—although my associate loves an enneagram—however this was for work, and I might be assessed by somebody whose job it’s to research CEO character profiles. To not point out, Sahm says the evaluation sometimes runs firms round $1,000.

First, I turned off the Actual Housewives of New York episode enjoying within the background. From my sofa, I opened the e-mail a Hogan consultant despatched me with a hyperlink to my three assessments and my short-term Hogan ID and password. Most executives additionally full these checks just about, although I can’t say which Actual Housewives sequence they like. Some checks are achieved in a supervised setting, however it’s change into rarer, Sahm says. Nonetheless, she advises individuals to dam time on their calendars to keep away from distractions and get essentially the most correct outcomes. I used to be nervous about taking the check, however the questions weren’t powerful. And I wished my solutions to be as sincere as attainable for journalistic integrity.

Usually, my M.O. is to learn deep into questions, to not sport the system, however to really perceive what it is asking. I’m an overthinker, which led to second-guessing quite a lot of questions. Was asking me whether or not, “In my opinion, an individual who doesn’t drink can’t be trusted,” making an attempt to get me to confess to being a lush? Was it merely about how skeptical I’m of individuals? Or was it probably digging into my social interactions? And what would that say about whether or not I’d be an efficient chief?

The latter query is hard to reply.

The CEO job is advanced, with many elements past character contributing to success. Plus, there merely aren’t nice measures of a CEO’s efficiency exterior of driving profitability and shareholder worth, Sahm says. However at decrease ranges, she notes, the group has extra sturdy knowledge. For instance, she says the agency can level to knowledge exhibiting that bus drivers employed utilizing Hogan are 60% much less prone to have an accident.”

Teraesa Vinson, a associate at Heidrick & Struggles’ CEO and board of administrators observe, says she makes use of Hogan assessments as “a star in an information galaxy,” which means it’s one issue amongst many issues.

The ‘story of Trey’

I hate to confess it, however my Hogan evaluation was spot on. My associate even gasped studying the 30,000-foot view Sahm wrote, having by no means met me and with simply the graphs and knowledge factors my solutions supplied.

“Your want to get pleasure from and discover pleasure in life could also be thwarted, undermined, or threatened at instances by a want to be recognized, seen, and/or acknowledged to your achievements,” Sahm tells me. “If you find yourself careworn, bored, overwhelmed, or in any other case depleted, you’re vulnerable to withdraw and transfer away from others or discover methods to push them away from you.”

She continues: “This is usually a self-defeating sample, as chances are you’ll retreat from others whenever you want them most—or once they want you.”

Unsurprisingly, “no person ought to rent you to be their CEO,” says Vinson, who additionally checked out my evaluation outcomes, in jest. My evaluation suggests I’m not a superb match for a mature firm with a well-defined company construction. I don’t do nicely with authority, set constructs, guidelines, and procedures, in response to Vinson and Sahm’s evaluation evaluation.

Though I gained’t be succeeding Bob Iger at Disney or Roz Brewer at Walgreens anytime quickly, there’s a silver lining.

“Your profile seems not not like many startup founder-CEOs’ the place they challenged the institution, broke from custom, did one thing dangerous, and created one thing that didn’t exist earlier than,” Sahm says. Whereas that sounds good sufficient, as a pacesetter, I’d seemingly get uninterested in processes and procedures, she warns.

Vinson says, have been she advising me, she’d look for an organization that wants a turnaround or a distressed, paralyzed group that would use a decisive and artistic thinker. However even then, my character profile suggests I’d discover it difficult as a result of I do not care to get slowed down with particulars, per my evaluation. Vinson says that’s high-quality. “You’re somebody who thinks extra zoomed out and is cognitively facile,” she surmises.

Regardless of the evaluation’s purported accuracy, firms use it as only one aspect of the succession equation. Sahm says Hogan doesn’t even give boards the uncooked experiences with out context as a result of their takeaways won’t present the total image.

The outcomes are a sign of how somebody would possibly lead, have interaction with, encourage, and talk with their workers and different company stakeholders. However Vinson notes that “in the event you’re doing (succession planning) proper, it ought to be a multimodal method.” She makes use of 360 interviews, simulations, reference calls, and hours price of one-on-ones with executives to know how they tick.

I jumped by way of one hoop within the C-suite choice course of, and the outcomes point out I’m not Fortune 500 CEO materials. However nowadays, discerning who’s match to be CEO has solely gotten more durable.

“We anticipate unimaginable issues from CEOs. If you happen to take a look at management competency fashions in any respect these Fortune 500 firms, they need you to be tall and brief on the similar time,” Sahm says. “They need you to be exhausting and mushy; they need you to be every little thing to everybody, and that’s not how persons are made. Leaders are held to those unimaginable requirements, and most are set as much as fail.”

This story was initially featured on Fortune.com

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