Identify High Caliber Future Leaders

Stop wasting resources trying to develop the wrong employees into high caliber future leaders.  Instead, identify those with the most potential by intentionally looking for these four characteristics.

Identify High Caliber Future Leaders

As a leader, you have the power to ignite passion and increase knowledge in those you have the responsibility of serving.  There is only so much time in the day and so many dollars you have allocated to developing future leaders.  You must spend both wisely. In a Harvard Business Review article, their data shows that 40% of people involved in formal high-potential training programs DON’T BELONG THERE.  Here are 4 unique things to look for when identifying emerging leaders so you don’t waste 40% of your resources!

My customers…”

Successful leaders recognize the importance of interacting with their employees personally and do it often.  As you are interacting with your employees with the purpose of finding your future leaders, listen for those employees who say “my customers”. When they say “my”, what they are subconsciously communicating is that attitude of I am choosing to be responsible for this business or I have a stake in this business.  One of the best characteristics of a successful leader is someone who takes ownership of the business and treats it as their own.

What is their story?

Discovering the right employees with the highest potential for future leadership success can be done through the process of listening to their stories.  Of course, you must have built trust with your employees for them to open up to you and tell you their stories. But once you have gained their trust, ask them about their life growing up. Ask them about a difficult experience they had to get through.  It is often those employees with an overcomer story that make incredible leaders. Why? Because overcomers have shown they have the audacity to find a solution, they have the grit to get through the hard times and not give up, and they can adapt to change when necessary.  All of those things are extremely valuable traits of successful leaders. 

Party-Thrower, Cake-Baker, Note-Writer, Etc.

The people who hold management and supervisory roles become leaders when they start focusing on serving their people.  When you serve your people, you will increase your influence with them and be able to develop a team capable and willing to crush company goals.  As you go throughout your days at the office working to identify future leaders, intentionally look for the employees who are making a conscious effort to serve others.  The people throwing the birthday parties, bringing in donuts just because, or taking the time to write hand-written notes to coworkers…those are the employees who have a servant heart and the best leaders are servants at heart.

Successful On The Side

Someone who is disciplined in one area of their life can likely transfer that discipline to other areas of their life.  Leaders must be disciplined to manage their time, emotions, and their professional trajectory well. Look for the health nut in your area, the man or woman who is in really good physical shape, the person who has a successful side hustle, the person who decided to go back to school on their own, etc.  No matter what the activity is outside of work, if they can be disciplined to be successful there, then it is likely they can transfer that discipline to leadership responsibilities.

People are not born great leaders, people learn to be great leaders. These emerging leaders must be taught how to effectively:

  • connect with multiple generations
  • make better business decisions
  • strategically plan for the future
  • build an engaged team
  • successfully deal with conflict
  • …and more! 

Most people have never had in-depth training on how to be a leader that others will want to follow.  This causes issues in morale, retention, engagement, performance and more. It’s your responsibility as a successful leader to empower your people by giving them the tools they need to succeed. When your people succeed then you will succeed.

Think your future leaders could benefit from leadership training? Let’s talk

#emergingleader #highperformer #highcaliber #leadershipdevelopment #leadershiptraining #personaldevelopment #leadershipisservice

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You might also like this: Build Trust Between a Multi-Generation Workforce

Alyson Van Hooser

Alyson Van Hooser, Pres & CEO, Van Hooser Leadership. With the grit that only comes from tough experiences, Alyson has learned a thing or two about personal and professional success. From her management experience with Walmart, as an elected city council member, bank manager — all before the age of 30 — Alyson has wisdom well beyond her years! Her podcast, Stake: The Leadership Podcast, offers a fresh perspective on leadership and helps multiple generations successfully work together! Connect with Alyson on LinkedIn.


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