Professional industries are full of people with potential. Everyone has room to grow, but only some will excel in leadership positions.
Business owners and those in management positions should know how to pinpoint leadership potential within their organization to help their teams thrive.
These are some tips anyone can use to spot the leaders of tomorrow.
1. Look for Engaged Individuals
When people enjoy their jobs, they give more of their energy through engagement. They complete their duties as defined by their job description and go further to help their team members. They show how much they care for their workplace, team and employer’s success by jumping into new opportunities whenever someone needs help.
This skill is essential for gauging someone’s leadership potential, but it may be more challenging to find in today’s workforce. The global challenges of the past few years caused workplace engagement to drop to 32% across professional industries. Future resilient leaders will stand out in this shrinking crowd by showing how they care for their professional future and those around them.
2. Watch for Growth-Hungry Team Members
Everyone will make occasional mistakes in the workplace. It’s part of being human, but leaders reflect on their mistakes and learn from them. They don’t need anyone to push them into a growth mindset. They’re always hungry to sharpen their skills, which requires learning from mistakes to prevent them from happening again.
People hungry for professional growth also take ownership of their actions to bounce back. They’ll actively pursue new habits or work routines to become a better team member. If someone knows how to do this for themselves, they’ll foster growth in others by showing them how to do the same once they reach a leadership position.
3. Note Everyone’s Communication Abilities
Written and verbal communication skills are essential qualities to evaluate when pinpointing leadership potential in someone. Team leaders must instruct and guide others through their words, which may happen during in-person meetings or over emails. Someone who can’t wield words effectively won’t know how to help each individual on their team reach their full potential.
4. Search for the Listeners
Great leaders communicate their thoughts while understanding when it’s time to listen. They’re always ready to learn from others, no matter the professional hierarchy involved in their job titles or years of experience.
This is a crucial part of everyone’s ability to grow continuously. It also fosters better relationships between leaders and their team members or employees.
People can learn this skill by listening to their mentors as they develop their professional abilities. They could take virtual classes on active listening or set goals with their supervisors to focus on one listening skill at a time. Those open to these opportunities will adapt to this essential leadership quality most effectively.
5. Seek Signs of Humility
Leaders lift others up with them when they succeed because they know no one reaches their finish line alone. They recognize who helped them along the way, both publicly and privately.
Intellectual humility is a critical component of people who do this. It’s a psychological skill that makes people more open to others with different perspectives. Their long-term success as a leader will flourish because they’re ready to listen, learn and appreciate everyone who contributes to their growth.
The people ready to grow in leadership opportunities also don’t push their success in others’ faces. Doing so only points to their insecurities and makes people respect them less. Great leaders don’t remind people how much better they are than everyone else because it repels others. Instead, they lift others up with them so their team grows together.
6. Spot Teaching Moments
Teaching others is a foundational part of lifting everyone up. When everyone succeeds, businesses grow. Leaders look for teaching moments, even if it means turning failures into opportunities for growth.
Sometimes, those moments are easy to facilitate. It might mean a manager compassionately points out when their team member didn’t understand the impression caused by their words or actions.
It can also be more challenging than expected. When pointing out how an employee could consider a challenge from their team member’s perspective, the employee may resist due to their embarrassment or pride. Leaders retain compassion during those moments by gently encouraging people through tougher growth periods.
Anyone can pinpoint leadership potential within their organization by looking for people demonstrating these two sides of teaching moments. If they can handle both receptive and unreceptive responses, they’re already shaping into a future leader.
7. Value Examples of Multitasking
People skills are essential for anyone in a leadership position, but they also need practical abilities. Multitasking is one of the most important to look for in anyone receiving a future promotion.
The new role will involve team members looking up to their manager or supervisor. That person will also have to juggle things like documentation, presentations and other work pertaining to their extended job responsibilities. They won’t be able to focus on just one thing because so many people count on them.
However, experienced multitaskers also understand the effects of task switch costs. These costs drain someone’s energy by using multiple parts of the brain to tackle various tasks. The rate of multitasking in a day may leave one person feeling more exhausted than another. Great leaders understand this human component of multitasking, so they value recharge time and employee wellness equally to productivity.
Future leaders don’t need to be perfect at multitasking before they get their new job. It’s a skill honed with each passing day. However, they’ll have an easier transition into their new role if they have foundational confidence in their multitasking ability.
8. Appreciate Requests for Help
The best leaders know when to ask for help. It prevents them from driving their team into the ground based on pride. They won’t risk their company’s success or the time of everyone involved in their work just because they can’t admit they aren’t sure about a decision or plan.
Leaders ask for help from people with more expertise in a specific area without giving all their responsibilities to someone else. They’re fine with delegating when necessary without offloading their entire to-do list on other people.
This is another area where people will always grow if they have an open mind and a humble heart. Evidence of this crucial leadership ability in someone’s work life means they may be ready to take the next step in their professional journey.
Start Pinpointing Leadership Potential
Leadership positions are significant opportunities. The best candidates will thrive in more supervisory roles, but only if they’re the people who get that opportunity.
These strategies make it easy to pinpoint leadership potential within an organization. They indicate who’s ready to grow in new ways and able to handle the expanded responsibilities that come with their new job title.