Spotting Leadership Potential
We’ve said time and again that employees are the most important business asset. Without good employees, a business is simply a shell with products and services without anyone to assist the customers, market the products, or provide service support. Good, successful companies, those that seem to know what they’re doing, have a team of great leaders at the helm.
These leaders most likely did not come from outside the organization. Rather, they were found inside the business. Looking within your organization’s walls for your next leadership team members means the candidates are already well versed with your products and services, do not lack understanding around existing processes and procedures, and are familiar with the primary software platforms.
Leadership, however, is not for everyone—and that’s okay! Identifying employees who are capable of taking on a leadership role is beneficial to the success of the business and the development of the team. Future leaders of your organization will lead meetings, take on a management role, act as change agents to help motivate and encourage teams, and push the business to stay on budget while making a larger impact on the industry and the communities they serve.
You may have a potential leader in your midst if your employees exhibit any of these leadership qualities:
Advocate for the structure of the organization and work to improve company culture.
An internal candidate for a leadership role will already be aware of the organization’s strengths and weaknesses and be a champion for making improvements where they deem necessary. Company culture and organizational structure need to be supported by individuals who make informed growth-oriented decisions with the company’s best interest in mind.
Potential > Performance
When you take the time to evaluate a person’s leadership potential, you may find their desire to grow their career within the organization, work with and develop their teammates, and provide positive influence across the organization is overwhelmingly more important than their performance. Conversely, some high performing employees do not carry the same leadership qualities that those with high potential have.
All good leaders make great communicators; not all great communicators make good leaders. Good communication should feel, from the listener/recipient/audience perspective, effortless, considerate, and concise. Good communicators have:
- Calculated responses.
- Thoughtful presentations.
- The ability to convey their message.
While leaders may not be the most social or vocal people in the room, they will be the ones who are best able to articulate the situation or what they are thinking without a misstep.
Deep empathy and emotional intelligence are qualities of a great leader. This means that a person willingly puts others first, take the time necessary to have a true, meaningful interaction with an employee or coworker, and focuses on building relationships. These leaders have an air of confidence around them but are never attempting to be the center of attention.
There’s no better feeling than seeing an employee flourish into the leader they were born to become. To ensure your employees’ success in their conversion to a leadership role, it is imperative to include a structured plan as part of the organizational growth strategy to support this transition. Visit Human Capital to learn more about farming your in-house talent and putting together a transition strategy plan.