One of the consistent struggles we hear from organizations is how to identify and train current and future leaders. It’s such an important topic that I’m splitting it into two posts, the first is how you can identify leaders, and the second is how to train and keep the leaders you identify.
I’ve found the best leaders are easy to spot over time when you know what to look for. I trust my gut when it comes to finding future leaders, but let me try to clearly explain how my gut identifies those rising stars:
- Leaders are at the center of the work pod – Do you see people stopping by one co-worker’s desk often throughout the day? Don’t think of those employees as wasting time; they’re pointing you towards a future leader.
- Leaders are easy to spot in meetings – They come prepared and ask good, even challenging questions.
- Encourage your problem solvers – If you have a thinker on your team who always comes up with great solutions to problems, you have a potential leader.
- Bring a possible leader into a brainstorm – Can you see them producing great ideas and championing better ideas?
- Put a potential leader under pressure – One of the best ways to find a leader is to assign an employee a task.
Your potential leader will demonstrate over a few months how they can rise to the challenges you’ve provided. In general, leaders are persuaders. The best leaders are persuaders who make teams better, inspiring co-workers to do great work together. Hopefully you know that by identifying and encouraging your future leaders, you’re securing the future of the company.
Next time I’d like to demonstrate to you how to keep the leader you’ve identified and start to mentor and train them.
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