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Harvard Business Review on Advancing Your Career by Harvard Business Review

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Are You a High Potential?

by Douglas A. Ready, Jay A. Conger, and Linda A. Hill

SOME EMPLOYEES ARE MORE talented than others. That’s a fact of organizational life that few executives and HR managers would dispute. The more debatable point is how to treat the people who appear to have the highest potential. Opponents of special treatment argue that all employees are talented in some way and, therefore, all should receive equal opportunities for growth. Devoting a disproportionate amount of energy and resources to a select few, their thinking goes, might cause you to overlook the potential contributions of the many. But the disagreement doesn’t stop there. Some executives say that a company’s list of high potentials—and the process for creating ...

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