I was recently asked what some of the identifying characteristics are for employees who have the potential to lead. Here is a partial checklist:

  • They see the big picture and how each segment supports that picture
  • They are comfortable communicating up and down the org chart and are good at building relationships
  • They are innovative thinkers who expect to find solutions and do
  • They have a knack for putting people together who will collaborate and cross pollinate well
  • They manage their energy well and know how to prioritize
  • They convey ideas easily and build enthusiasm among team members for those ideas
  • They look for the best in people and encourage them to bring their best game
  • They are inclusive, building bridges between people with cultural and philosophical differences
  • They hold themselves and others accountable for results
  • They manage resources well: time, people, $ and space
  • Because they listen well, they engender trust among peers
  • They are willing to ask for help, ideas, feedback
This isn’t a complete list, by any means, and yet if an employee exhibits many of these characteristics, they will likely stand out from the crowd and be a good candidate for a leadership role.

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