Future leaders: who has the right stuff?

Making the leap from manager to leader has always been challenging – how do you pinpoint who is right for the job?

Although there are countless assessments on the market to assess personality and aptitude for leadership roles, Gary Lear of Development Beyond Learning suggested that there are 10 questions to ask in order to identify potential future leaders:
  1. Have they got a proven track record of accomplishing impressive results?
  2. Do they take charge and make things happen?
  3. Do they inspire with confidence?
  4. Can they lead with persuasion and influence?
  5. Do other people trust them?
  6. Does this person have an understanding of how to separate the ‘what’ from the ‘how’?
  7. Do they have a global perspective?
  8. Do obstacles stop this person or are they able to push through?
  9. How does this person deal with multitasking?
  10. Do unexpected changes affect this person’s performance?
According to Lear, the most important message for HR professionals is to understand that the senior executive team must be involved in the process of grooming upcoming leaders; they shouldn’t feel obliged to “do it all” themselves.
“The HRD’s job is to bring the notice of the CEO where these vulnerabilities exist in the organization and then work with the CEO to put in place an open, transparent and measurable development program that can develop new leaders from within,” he said.

Leadership traits                                                                                
Lear also outlined what HR professionals should be watching out for in terms of spotting leadership potential.
He believes there are eight characteristics that a person with leadership potential should have:
  1. Self-understanding and the ability to modify their behaviours to different situations
  2. Strategic direction and clarity on three areas: people, purpose and profit
  3. The ability to inspire and motivate others (and themselves) to high performance
  4. The ability to identify problems but also develop solutions
  5. A focus on results
  6. The ability to collaborate with other individuals and team works
  7. Being a champion of change
  8. Being a powerful communicator

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