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Is an Olympian Your Best Bet for a New CEO?

Michael Miller Feb 5, 2014 2:53:00 PM

SkierHave you ever wondered what it takes to be an Olympian? With the Winter Olympics upon us, we decided it might be fun to explore the profile of an Olympic athlete using The McQuaig System. 

If you’re familiar with the McQuaig System skip this paragraph. For those who don’t know, here’s the 411: The McQuaig System is an online behavioural assessment tool that allows companies to define and benchmark jobs, profile and assess candidates against those benchmarks, hire and develop them in a way that maximizes their potential.

For this exercise, we used the McQuaig Job Survey to profile the ideal behavioural attributes of an Olympic athlete, specifically, we were thinking of the temperament of a downhill skier. Based on that assumption, the McQuaig System identified the ideal athlete as a Pioneer profile.

An individual fitting the Pioneer profile is:

  • extremely competitive, ambitious and goal-oriented
  • tackles projects and situations aggressively
  • enjoys overcoming objections/resistance and achieving goals in the face of obstacles
  • has a sense of urgency to get things done quickly
  • works well under pressure and deadlines
  • wants to take charge and show some initiative

If you’re managing (or coaching) an individual like this, some tips to get the most from them:

  • they need constant challenges and opportunities
  • they may take chances to get ahead
  • they are internally motivated

In the business world, you might see this person as a tough-minded, hard-driving – but fair leader in the role of CFO, CEO or a senior operations role. In fact, a 2005 study of McQuaig Survey data showed that the Pioneer profile was the second most common profile amongst senior executives. A real life example of this is former Olympic skier Tiger Shaw, who was named CEO of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA). 

If you’re looking to hire for a role that requires the temperament of an Olympic athlete, the easy-to-use McQuaig System can help you profile any number of candidates and identify strong matches and make a better hiring decision. We haven't been approached by the Canadian Olympic Committee yet, but we're ready to do our part to own the podium if they do. 

If you'd like to learn more about how benchmarking roles and profiling candidates' temperament against those benchmarks can help you make better hiring decisions, visit our website or give us a call. 

What do you think makes an Olympian tick?