How Do You Identify Your Future Leaders?

Published: September 2021


The fast-paced digital environment requires future leaders possess the ability to learn, adapt to changes in their environment and seek out new skills and experiences at work. Here's how to assess for those increasingly important skills.

Progressing and promoting into leadership positions is typically the result of outstanding performance in a current role. However, there’s often a big problem with that approach: Performing well in one role is not always an indicator of outstanding performance in a different one. Take the example of a high-achieving frontline salesperson who fails to become a stellar sales manager, or the outstanding second-in-command that is not able to rise to the challenge and display what is needed once in the overall leadership position.

Understanding what it takes to be a great leader can be difficult, and it’s getting even harder. The fast-moving digital environment requires the leaders of tomorrow need to not only possess traditional leadership behaviors, but also embrace the opportunities that digital and technological advancements offer. 

Such a shift requires a new type of leader — a “digital leader.”

New Model of Digital Leadership

The new digital leader possesses the ability to learn, adapt to changes in their environment and seek out new skills and experiences at work. They are also champions of collaboration and demonstrate a drive to lead. They know how to empower, support, experiment and learn — and know when to switch between these behaviors. They are humble enough to seek out those with the right skills to support them when needed. They demonstrate business acumen, the ability to handle and examine data and mental endurance.

Aon’s Digital Leader Model brings all these together by combining the three tenets of an agile mindset, leading change and driving business forward.

Changing Talent Assessment for Digital Leaders

Talent assessment has long played an important role in evaluating leadership potential. However, it also needs to evolve with new leadership requirements.

With these additional abilities and attributes needed by the successful digital leader, managers need to make their talent assessment incorporates these four areas:

  1. The individual’s profile is mapped against a future leader’s model. A traditional leadership model, however well it has served in the past, may be outdated and unlikely to remain adequate in the future.
  2. All the relevant, future-facing aspects of personality, motivation, behavior and ability are explored during the assessment.
  3. The assessment is based on extensive research and science. This ensures the assessment is defensible, relevant and secures business buy-in.  
  4. The assessment provides you and your future leaders with an accurate and insightful summary of strengths and guidance for future development.

To learn more about using talent assessment for the new digital leader, download our guidebook Reshape and Optimize Your Workforce with Assessment.

General Disclaimer
The information contained herein and the statements expressed are of a general nature and are not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information and use sources we consider reliable, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.

Terms of Use
The contents herein may not be reproduced, reused, reprinted or redistributed without the expressed written consent of Aon, unless otherwise authorized by Aon. To use information contained herein, please write to our team.

Talk to an Expert

Let us know how we can help and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.

Aon group companies will use your personal information to contact you from time to time about other products, services and events that we feel may be of interest to you. All personal information is collected and used in accordance with our privacy statement.

If you do not wish to receive these communications, please check here: