How To Spot Leadership Potential A Guide For Managers?

For managers of offices or large chain supermarkets, there comes a time of year when they need to look to promote members of staff.

This can be hard if you think that all of your team are showing potential or,  more likely, you aren’t really sure what you are looking for!

Influential leaders are critical to the success of any organization and identifying potential leaders within a company can help ensure the long-term growth and stability of the organization.

While it can be challenging for managers and supervisors to identify leadership potential, there are several key characteristics that managers should look for when assessing their team members.

So, what are those characteristics? Read on to find out!


Has that team member delivered work consistently and always pointed out issues if there were any?

One of the most critical characteristics of a leader is the ability to deliver results, and it is one of the most reliable factors to look for when you are aiming to identify and develop talent. Individuals who consistently meet or exceed expectations and who take ownership of their work are often strong potential leaders. Look for team members who are proactive in solving problems, have a strong work ethic, and take pride in their work.

Strong Communication Skills

Any potential leader must be able to communicate effectively with their team members, peers, and superiors. Look for team members who are able to articulate their ideas clearly, listen actively, and provide constructive feedback to others. Effective communication is essential for building relationships, gaining buy-in for ideas, and resolving conflicts.

If someone seems to be getting by via backhanded comments and by intimidation, it is probably best for your business not to put that kind of personality in a position of power.


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In today’s fast-paced business environment, leaders must be able to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. Look for team members who are flexible, open-minded, and willing to take risks. Influential leaders are comfortable with uncertainty and are able to pivot their strategies as needed. However, if you find that someone who you think has potential is lacking in this area, don’t worry, as adaptability can be taught, and often comes with experience.

Emotional Intelligence

Most people in the US and the UK remember the infamous film The Devil Wears Prada.

Miranda Priestly, the editor-in-chief, is a perfect example of someone who is in a leadership role and has no emotional intelligence. Yet, true to Hollywood, even with this deficit, she is somehow able to run a successful fashion business, but her team is highly stressed. Not ideal!

Leaders who have emotional intelligence are able to connect with their team members on a personal level, build trust, and create a positive work environment. Look for team members who are self-aware, empathetic, and who can manage their emotions effectively. Emotional intelligence is critical for building strong relationships and creating a culture of collaboration.

Strategic Thinking

Influential leaders must be able to see the big picture and develop strategies that align with the organization’s goals. Look for team members who are able to think strategically, analyse data, and will make informed decisions. Strong leaders are able to identify opportunities for growth, anticipate challenges, and develop plans to overcome them.

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