The next generation of company leaders may already work within your ranks. In today’s competitive job market, developing talent from within is more important than ever, so it’s imperative to keep on the lookout for current employees who show signs of future leadership potential.
Here are a few key characteristics to watch for as your younger employees continue to develop and climb your company’s corporate ladder.
They lead by example
Even if a star employee isn’t officially in a position of leadership, they’re likely already perceived as one. From championing innovative ideas to simply showing up to work on time, employees with potential for leadership already set a high bar for performance for themselves, as wells as provide a strong example for others to follow.
Employees with leadership potential lead by example by:
- Committing to goals and working hard to achieve them
- Holding themselves accountable and taking responsibility for their actions
- Acknowledging failure and being prepared to react to and learn from it
They are dedicated to growth
Always on the lookout for opportunities to hone their skills or develop new ones, great leaders are committed to personal and professional development. Being an effective leader requires embracing a culture of life-long learning, both for themselves and the people they lead.
Employees with leadership potential show their dedication to personal growth by:
- Actively seeking out new opportunities to build their skills and experience
- Showing a willingness to put in the work—even if it’s outside of business hours
- Sharing what they’ve learned with co-workers and encouraging others to seek out development opportunities
They earn trust and respect from coworkers
The amount of trust and respect a workforce has for its leadership team has a significant impact on employee productivity and engagement. So, an employee with a reputation for good decision making and showing up when the going gets tough may be a strong candidate for a future leadership role.
Employees with leadership potential earn trust and respect by:
- Following through on commitments and producing consistent results
- Staying consistent in their actions and treatment of other people
- Being the person coworkers go to for advice
They are decisive
Indecisive leaders are detrimental to productivity and engagement. Employees look to their leaders for guidance and vision, and make assumptions based on their confidence and composure when the stakes are high.
Employees with leadership potential show their decisiveness by:
- Sticking to their guns and not being easily swayed by dissenting opinions
- Following through with confidence in an outcome once a decision is made
- Inspiring trust in teammates and colleagues for their decision-making abilities
They are passionate
Passionate people are engaging and contagious. Even the most productive employees need motivation from leaders who effectively communicate the importance of every task and build a positive atmosphere that helps others feel passionate about their work.
Employees with leadership potential show their passion by:
- Being a positive and motivational force in the workplace
- Setting lofty, yet achievable goals, and pursuing them wholeheartedly
- Rallying the troops and charging forward, even in challenging situations
What are some other characteristics you look for in future leaders? How do you help and encourage young employees with leadership potential develop their skills? Let us know in the comments section below.