Someone once told me that a good potential leader is consistently developing people to replace himself. This means that a leader’s job is to develop more leaders, for which they will have to recognise the potential they have in their team in order to invest in the right person at the right time.
People might think that potential leaders are those who are extroverted and super-talented, but this is not always the case as we will mention in the next points. So, what are the qualities that will help you recognise a potential leader in your team?
We are all potential leaders
Believe it or not we are all potential leaders, some of us might do the process of developing their leadership in different ways faster than others. Some of us might do it in a more evident way, but in every single one of us there is the potential to lead people, to impact and inspire them.
Even though we cannot yet see the full potential of our team members, and they continue to grow during their whole life, you will be able to recognise at least a glimpse of what they have on the inside of them. Some of them might be really good with people, others might be really good at tasks, others might stand out because of their commitment instead of their skills and others might stand out because of their character.
A leader needs to work on all those things, but first recognise the strength in your people, to see what other areas they can develop.
Leaders recognise the need
Leaders see things differently. They have this certain ability to recognise what needs to be done. They see the gaps and the need in an organisation. They pay attention to detail and see beyond to do lists.
Have you ever encountered an employee on your team who consistently comes to you with suggestions? Even though this can be annoying at times, and you might even think the person is somehow arrogant for consistently giving you an opinion of what needs to be done.
But instead of getting frustrated, recognise that this is a leadership quality. Even though the need this person is pointing at is not your priority at the moment, they are recognising a gap that might improve your company’s performance or results at one point. So why don’t you start giving this person the responsibility of recognising possible improvements in smaller areas of the different departments and see where they go from there?
Leaders take initiative
Another quality of leaders is that they not only see the gap, but they actually do something to fill it. Opinions never built anything by themselves, but action, that is something else! Potential leaders don’t wait for you to tell them what to do, but they see the need, they make a plan to fix it and do it!
You might have had a bad experience with someone taking initiative at the wrong time or maybe with the wrong procedure. But let me tell you that it is always better to say sorry than to ask for permission, because it will always be easier to help someone go slower than to push them to go faster.
Initiative releases you to trust your team. You know that if something needs to be done, they wont wait for you to give them indications. But it is important that you train them in the right procedures to do this, empower them with all the information they need, so that when they do take a risk and take the initiative, they can do it right.
Leaders work on their personal growth
Leaders consistently work to move forward. If they know they need to improve at something, they get informed on how to do it, they seek for advice and make the decisions that will change the course of their lives in a few days, weeks or years.
Leaders are not content with mediocrity. The consistently seek to update their knowledge, their skill and even the way they lead others or relate to them. A great quality in leadership is also flexibility, and to be flexible means to continue to expand every day in capacity, in patience, in determination and responsibility.
Leaders carry the vision of the organisation
Do you have a person on your team who is more passionate about what you they do than maybe even you? Leaders carry the vision of their organisation as if it was theirs, because it is. They protect the team culture and give everything they can to see the corporative vision accomplished. If your team members understand and grab the vision of your company, you already have of the most important qualities in a potential leader. So work with that!
What else do you think involves a potential leader?