Archive for the ‘Zircon’ category

Zircon Management Consulting a rare gem of an opportunity

January 18th, 2016

At the start of the year I began looking for work experience opportunities within management consultancies. This tied in with the Assessment module on my Occupational and Business Psychology MSc, as I was really enjoying learning about selection and development. Zircon and its sister company Talent Gene® prominently stood out to me as they offer a highly unique approach to the application of business psychology and talent assessment. » Read more: Zircon Management Consulting a rare gem of an opportunity

Inspirational Leadership (Part1): Introduction of Intrapersonal & Interpersonal Qualities

December 14th, 2015

Our most recent company white-paper entitled ‘Inspirational Leadership and Executive Presence: Do you need to have Executive Presence to be Inspirational?’ was based on a comprehensive analysis of available research investigating the core elements of truly Inspirational Leadership. The results from the 196 interviews conducted by Zircon found seven qualities evident in organisations today associated with Inspirational leadership. Principally, we found that there was a great deal of diversity in the descriptions of Inspirational Leadership;  with Leaders alluding to a wide variety of intrapersonal and interpersonal characteristics including being morally principled, charming, tenacious, innovative, motivating, attentive, driven, aspirational, focused, enthusiastic, and passionate. » Read more: Inspirational Leadership (Part1): Introduction of Intrapersonal & Interpersonal Qualities

Can you Develop Leaders to be Inspirational and have Executive Presence?

December 7th, 2015

From a Talent Management perspective, one of the most pertinent questions that must be asked following our research, is to what extent we can develop leaders to be Inspirational and have Executive Presence? We have identified that there is a clear demand for such qualities within the competitive workplace environment, however, there is a considerably lower supply of these qualities within the workplace. » Read more: Can you Develop Leaders to be Inspirational and have Executive Presence?

How many people have Executive Presence?

November 30th, 2015

At Zircon, we strive to define and accurately highlight the key elements that underwrite effective performance and leadership potential, in order to develop and direct others towards realising their organisational potential. However, within the leadership domain, effective performance and influential leadership remains a somewhat difficult concept to grasp, with many leaders admitting that they recognise effective leadership when they see it, but experience difficulty in accurately defining what skills provide the highest level of success. The tacit, intangible nature of Executive Presence is thought to lead to a clear and consistent disparity between the demand of such a quality and the overall supply within the workplace. » Read more: How many people have Executive Presence?

How many people have Inspirational Leadership?

November 26th, 2015

Within Zircon, we take a strong, applied approach to talent management and leadership development. Our recent research indicated a strong appreciation for the qualities commonly associated with an Inspirational Leader.  However, research linking the supply with the demand of such a quality is somewhat limited. While many recognise the potential value of those characteristics thought typical of truly inspirational leaders, many leaders recognise that some characteristics are elusive and difficult to achieve. » Read more: How many people have Inspirational Leadership?

What are the differences between Inspirational Leadership & Executive Presence?

November 23rd, 2015

At Zircon, we place a strong emphasis on trying to determine exactly what constitutes effective and energising styles of leadership. Two concepts in particular are often linked to high potential, and highly talented performers with leadership; Inspirational Leadership and Executive Presence. Whilst many claim to recognise each of these broad characteristics when they see them, the differences between them and the possible overlap remains somewhat uncertain. » Read more: What are the differences between Inspirational Leadership & Executive Presence?

Fantastic Summer Internship at Zircon

November 19th, 2015

Rapidly approaching the end of my MSc. course, I decided that I wanted to gain some hands-on experience of Occupational Psychology in practice before finally entering the ‘real world’. I came across the advert for Zircon’s internship positions on the ABP website, and thought it sounded like a fantastic opportunity. » Read more: Fantastic Summer Internship at Zircon

What is Executive Presence? Why is it Important?

November 16th, 2015

Here at Zircon, we recognise that truly talented and influential leaders possess a range of qualities and attributes; many of which are easily defined, however others are difficult to grasp and even more challenging to describe in a meaningful sense. Executive Presence is rapidly becoming one of the most popular concepts within Business Psychology and Talent Management as a whole. It has be argued that Executive Presence is a highly beneficial attribute within business; one that is sought after by many organisations. The majority of business leaders can recognise when their fellow leaders possess Executive Presence, however, the majority of research hints that this is a tacit strength; one that is difficult to define or describe clearly, and therefore one that has typically been described in a very broad manner. » Read more: What is Executive Presence? Why is it Important?

What is Inspirational Leadership? Why is it Important?

November 12th, 2015

Within Zircon, we understand there are many components to being a successful leader, and there is a plethora of research looking at leadership strengths and qualities. However, the critical differentiators that separate management and leadership from truly Inspirational Leadership are somewhat unclear and imprecise. Within the Talent Management Sector, we often challenge and encourage our clients to be more Inspirational as leaders, but what does this really mean? What does it mean to be a truly inspirational leader? » Read more: What is Inspirational Leadership? Why is it Important?

The Apprentice: proving enthusiasm is no match for competence

October 29th, 2015

zircon apprentice cat

Last night’s episode of the BBC show illustrated why it is critical to assess candidates, and not simply trust their enthusiasm.

Spoiler warning: if you don’t want to know who was fired from The Apprentice last night, look away now.

Comedian W.C. Fields famously said: “Never work with animals or children.”

In last night’s episode of The Apprentice, the challenge of selling products at a pet show proved to be the undoing of candidate Ruth Whiteley.

Despite working in sales training, Ruth failed to sell a single cat tower during a whole day of exhibiting at ExCel in London.

Ruth was fired because she confused Enthusiasm for Competence. She confidently engaged potential customers and chatted to them enthusiastically about the cat towers but was unable to convert a single discussion into a sale.

In interviews, very often we select the extrovert who is confident and enthusiastic because we confuse enthusiasm for competence.

This is why, like Alan Sugar, you should use exercises rather than interviews to assess candidates. In interviews it is difficult to differentiate between the two.

In an exercise, the evidence is clear to observe and record and therefore assess.

There are four types of evidence that can be gained from assessment exercises. In order of validity (the highest is first and is the preferred approach), they are:

  • Observed – exercises (roleplays, presentations, tasks)
  • Tests (online tests)
  • Reported (interviews – where a person reports who they are and how they interact)
  • Inferred (questionnaires – where you infer from the questionnaire how a person will be)

The lesson is to always make sure you include observed exercises as part of your assessment process e.g. a sales task, role play or presentation.

Just make sure it is not a group exercise. As I have written before, this is the main area where The Apprentice’s selection process falls down.

  • Dr Amanda Potter is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist, and the CEO of Zircon Management Consulting.