Leaders don’t grow on trees like apples or oranges. It takes strategic planning to put a person in the place in your organization where they’ll take root and grow strong—and where you’ll be able to harvest their true potential.
But how do you correctly identify leadership potential every time? Here are 15 metrics we use—and you can too—in order to pinpoint whether or not someone has the complete leadership package.
1. Cognitive ability
Can your leadership candidate handle increasing levels of complexity in decision-making? Complex problems require more than simple thinking to arrive at an effective solution.
2. Thinking style
Leadership requires shifting from tactical short-term thinking to an ability to see the bigger picture. Does the person have a goal-oriented strategic focus where they anticipate and plan for what lies down the road?
What is their capability for problem-solving and decision-making? Can they be trusted to make the right decisions for the organization?
4. Natural leadership potential
How does a person perform when called on to lead a team? Do they show a willingness to take charge? The type of influence they exert and their ability to shape perspectives in the group can be revealing.
Moving beyond managing is an essential part of becoming a good leader. An effective one must learn to delegate responsibility, coach others in their roles and develop the people they take under their wing.
Leaders find a way to gain competitive advantage and produce effective strategies to drive bottom line results – even when faced with challenges and obstacles.
True leaders will not be satisfied with staying in the same role. They look for ways to challenge themselves and move up the ladder.
8. Trust and authenticity
Credibility is the hallmark of an effective leader. It is built through acting with integrity and earning trust from teammates and subordinates.
9. Focus on others
Does this person look to support and build their team and the organization, or do personal goals come first?
10. Interpersonal skills
Working effectively with people from other teams and other departments is essential for piloting an entire organization filled with diverse personalities.
11. Comfort with exploration
How does this person approach the unknown? People with leadership potential often step outside their comfort zone to expand their perspective and drive innovation.
Leadership requires making tough decisions, solving problems and communicating unpopular messages. A leader must be able to deal with these situations and not give into pressure to make the wrong choices.
13. Openness to feedback
How does this person receive feedback? Leaders are aware of their flaws and support ongoing growth in their roles.
14. Emotional intelligence
Leaders must understand and consider the feelings of others in decision-making. They should also monitor their own emotions and behaviors, so they remain healthy and consistent.
15. Stress tolerance
Leadership is not a walk in the park. How does the person handle increasing pressures, obstacles and disappointments?
Building a successful leadership pipeline starts with identifying individuals who possess natural leadership potential—the traits and capabilities to progress from one role to another, as well as the desire to do so.
Assessing and measuring for these 15 traits is a great way to do that.