Selection Process

Selection Process

Developing future leaders: criteria and selection overview:

Emerging leadership skills include recognising and managing changing realities, being courageous and bold, and having strong ethics, honesty and integrity. USB Executive Development (USB-ED) has developed five criteria against which to assess future leaders. These criteria have been isolated as a result of extensive research in the areas of disruptive forces, predicting the future world of work and emerging leadership skills. It is according to these measures that the Rising Star criteria and selection process is structured:

1. Vision and the ability to create
True leaders understand how current reality influences the future. They are well able to communicate goals and expectations and consider the future when making decisions. They are not afraid of change or taking risks, and recognise and reward creativity. Leaders who display positive behaviours are clearly able to see and communicate a vision and to inspire people to follow. These optimistic individuals drive creativity and innovation, and are able to see and value different perspectives.

2. Team effectiveness and collaboration
Real leaders enable team effectiveness and collaboration. They call on colleagues to obtain their expertise and let employees know what decisions they can take. Leaders with collaborative mind-sets respect team decisions and invite people with different views to develop solutions. Leaders who exhibit positive behaviours engage their teams, set expectations and clarify roles and responsibilities. They encourage recognition of joint concerns and collaboration and allow teams the space to operate as self-directed teams. Positive behaviour also includes driving a shared agenda and building coalitions with key players across an organisation.

3. Trust and Ethics
Future leaders admit their own and departmental mistakes and refuse to cover up their slip-ups to save face. They expect all employees to be honest and ethical, and would not lie if asked to do so. This type of leader may suffer in their career for doing the right thing, but are careful to consistently adhere to rules. Positive behaviours are indicated when leaders act with courage and conviction and take transparent and fair decisions. These individuals speak truthfully and demonstrate integrity. They always consider the societal impact of business decisions and adhere to rules and regulations.

4. Communication and listening
Effective leaders use informal tools to communicate quickly, such as having an open door policy, circulating relevant information and writing and speaking clearly. They make eye contact when conversing with others and do not interrupt others when they are speaking. These leaders would typically walk around and engage employees on work progress, and invite input from all relevant parties before making decisions. Positive behaviours are measured when individuals are able to read their audiences well and communicate appropriately. These leaders have good written and verbal communication skills and respect what others say.

5. Motivating and committed attitude
Leaders who are motivated and committed recognise accomplishments and praise their employees when they deserve it. They give new assignments as rewards for work well done, and stay with a project until it is completed well. Such individuals speak positively about their organisation and have positive attitudes when they experience setbacks. Individuals display positive behaviours when they demonstrate tenacity, perseverance and resilience, and are able to learn from mistakes and are willing to try again. They also provide constructive feedback and show feelings of gratitude for good work.

The Selection process:

  • Each candidate will complete a self-assessment based on five criteria.
  • From this, USB-ED will select the top 10 candidates from each of the 12 industry categories – the semifinalists.


  • Each candidate will complete a narrative essay on their strengths and weaknesses directly related to the 5 criteria. The essay must be practical and evidence-based.
  • Each candidate will complete a 2 minute video on why they think they are a future leader.
  • The self-assessments shortlisted candidates are sent to the candidate’s line manager for verification and comment.
  • USB-ED will select 5 candidates from each category, based on the essay, video and line managers comments – the finalists.


  • The finalists in each category will face a judging panel comprising relevant industry/HR experts and corporate CEOs and HRDs.
  • The judges will probe behavioural indicators (both positive and negative) for each criteria. Again this round will focus on the evidence of behaviour as well as how the candidate would have applied the behaviour in the work context.
  • The judges will choose the final candidate based on their previous submissions, the final interview and a case study presentation prepared for the interview.