What image of a leader comes to your mind first?

Typically, you may regard a leader as someone who can command responsibility, inspire action, or guide a community toward a vision and create opportunities for that vision to become a reality. Indeed, an organization’s success (or failure) largely depends on a leader.

How to Spot a Future Leader Among Your Employees

People are still divided on whether leaders are born or made, but whatever your belief, you might agree that leaders possess common traits characteristic of one. If you’re a business owner or an HR executive, having that mental picture of what leaders are made of makes it easy for you to spot the most promising candidate among your employees. 

Who Are the Leader Materials in an Organization?

Organizations need to ensure that they have a way of identifying leaders to uphold a culture of excellence within the business from one generation to the next.

Here are some qualities that may indicate that someone could be a leader in the making:

1. Accountability

How to Spot a Future Leader Among Your Employees

The best leaders are not afraid to make decisions and do not waste any time in doing so. They are quick to make up their mind on how to approach a situation or problem. Some of the decisions they make may be calculated, while others have a risk factor to them. Either way, potential leaders are those who take full responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

2. Focused

Someone who is focused will endure whatever it takes to accomplish a goal or task. The end result is always the main consideration for this type of leader, but not forgetting all the other important aspects that a particular project involves.

When potential leaders are given an assignment, they make a deliberate plan and effort to complete it according to their standards. Having a focused mindset gives future leaders enough insights into the business so that when their time comes to assume leadership, the ability to getting things done will become almost instinctive.

3. Engaged

How to Spot a Future Leader Among Your Employees

Spotting an employee who is deeply interested in your organization’s objectives is a good sign of engagement, which ultimately defines the commitment of that employee to your company.

A proactive attitude at work is the first concrete sign that you have found a leader in the making. This employee does not seem to get tired performing his/her daily duties and shows a very high level of energy helping the organization achieve positive results in every area possible.

4. Ability to delegate

It’s important for leaders to know the capabilities of people around them. This trait is crucial especially for a project management professional or manager.

Being in such capacity means the person should have utmost knowledge in what processes are being handled by various teams to delegate tasks effectively. The key to delegating tasks is knowing just how much a person, unit, or department can do on their own, and what form of assistance they will be needing otherwise.

Often, leaders have a trusted aide who knows every bit of detail that the boss would expect from staff, but you should not expect the aide to go beyond being a follower and stepping up to be a full-fledged leader. What you should be looking out for among possible leader candidates instead is the drive and genuine passion to put their leadership skills into action.

5. Confident

You would want your managers to serve as the pillars of strength of your organization. Leaders should have enough flexibility not to crack under pressure. They may not welcome the prospect of things going awry, but they brush it off with their confident outlook.

Leaders are well aware that their subordinates look up to them not only for direction but also for inspiration. In tough times, you will see that leaders are the last to give up and the first to rally their team to keep moving forward. Indeed, the ability to rise from adversities is a symbol of exceptional leadership.

Spotted a Leader Yet?

Employers who see leadership potential in their employees would do well to nurture it as soon as they see it. Putting together a mentoring program says a lot about an organization’s desire for their employees to grow with them professionally.

Employee training is another way of building pertinent skills such as those offered by Six Sigma certification or PMP certification courses for businesses in a transactional or production setting.

At the end of the day, finding potential leaders in your organization can only happen if you make it an essential aspect of your HR initiatives. Otherwise, you may find that lack of leadership personas can impact business performance, market competitiveness, and employee morale.

The key objective is to ensure that there’s continuity in discovering potential leaders and giving them the opportunity to more deeply explore that role.

Written By
Kamesh Ganeson regularly writes for APEX Global-the learning solutions arm of ECCI where he is currently the Director for Delivery and Project Management. He is one of the most sought after speaker / consultant with expertise over 25 years of experience in various fields such as Quality Management, Strategic Business Planning, IT Governance, and Corporate Sustainability Management.

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