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If it’s hard to hire great people, it’s even harder to hire great managers. That’s perhaps why current employees are all too often promoted to managerial spots because they’re the best person in their department—not because they have what it takes to be effective managers. Making this mistake hurts the company twice: you lose a bright talent in the functional area and you’ve got a new manager who can’t do the job.


But there’s a simple, easy-to-use tool that can help you navigate this hiring challenge. The Managerial Success Traits (MST) tool is a list of personality traits and abilities that strongly correlate with success at the supervisor, middle manager, and chief executive levels.


The next time you need to fill a key manager spot, use the MST scorecard to rank both internal and external candidates on each of the traits. Discuss any low scores with the candidate during the hiring process. You’ll know you have a winner if a candidate wants to talk about his or her weaknesses and sees them as learning opportunities. Winners don’t pretend to be perfect; they acknowledge their shortcomings and explain how they’re working on them.

The Managerial Success Traits Tool

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