Over the course of my career, I’ve spent countless hours talking to and hearing from leaders around the world. I’ve interviewed thousands of candidates for managerial roles and tracked the performance of those I successfully hired. I led the global management appraisal practice of our own executive search firm, Egon Zehnder. And I’ve spent years with colleagues at Harvard Business School and other academic institutions researching what makes people effective in their jobs.One key lesson I’ve drawn from all this experience? The most successful leaders are the ones who continue to learn and grow, and the best way to help yourself – or your team — do that is through assignments that involve increasing complexity.Several years ago, I worked with Ken Aramaki in Egon Zehnder’s Tokyo office to compare the potential of senior Japanese executives (that is, objective assessments from our consultants about their ability to take on bigger roles and responsibilities) and their competence (that is, objective assessments of their strategic orientation, market insight, customer impact, results orientation, leadership, ability to collaborate and influence, etc.) against the average scores for those metrics from all the executives in our worldwide database. What we found was an incredible paradox. Japanese professionals had higher potential than the global average but lower competence.
Mashable’s latest #BizChats Twitter chat, sponsored by Staples, discussed how small businesses can be more productive during the busiest time of the year.SEE ALSO: Learn how small businesses can ‘sleigh’ the holiday season in our next #BizChatsOver the course of an hour, @MashBusiness covered an array of topics, ranging from the major holiday marketing trends every small business should pay attention to, to unique ways businesses can show customer appreciation to drive loyalty during the holiday season.Several small business experts joined the conversation including: Amy Jo Martin, founder and CEO of Digital Royalty; Doug and Polly White, writers for Entrepreneur Magazine, small business experts and serial entrepreneurs; Mari Smith, Facebook marketing expert, social media influencer and speaker; Marley Majcher, CEO of The Party Goddess and small business expert; Martin Jones, sr. social media and content marketing manager; and Matthew Toren, owner of iSmallBusiness.com, Kidpreneurs.org, writer at Entrepreneur and serial entrepreneur.