Having great leaders in your organization can make the difference between success and failure for your company. Good leaders can inspire and rally the employees towards an organizational goal. So, how can you determine who has leadership potential?
What Is Leadership Potential?
Leadership potential is a generic term that people use to refer to many types of things. If you break it down, it means that someone is capable of being a wonderful leader. This can be due to many factors such as emotional intelligence and day to day dedication to their role.
Overall, those who have the potential to be effective leaders must get along well with others, be confident, committed, and have excellent leadership skills.
How to Spot Leadership Potential
Let’s talk about how you can spot leadership potential amongst your team or when you’re hiring a new employee. There are some key traits which indicate that this person may have leadership potential. Here’s what to look for:
When leaders cannot delegate, this can quickly become a massive issue. Some leaders prefer to do everything themselves so that they can be sure it is done right. This shows a lack of confidence and trust in their employees. Instead, they should be offering responsibility to their staff and mentoring them to be able to perform the tasks well.
The only thing we can be certain of in life is change. If someone deals well with change and is adaptable to different situations, this is certainly an indication of someone who is a true leader. For your organization to cope with the many changes that will undoubtedly come your way, you need leaders who can adapt and make it work.
Ability to Problem Solve
Coming up with solutions to issues you are presented with certainly shows leadership potential. Problem-solving skills are sorely lacking in many companies. These skills are useful for when a client has an outside the box request, changes are occurring, or when things go wrong. Someone who is a great problem solver will take this all in stride and quickly come up with a solution.
A leader who is transparent with their staff is hard to find. However, when a leader is transparent in a professional manner, this builds trust and respect from their colleagues and staff. Many leaders keep problems that need solving to themselves or put on a brave front. This isn’t always useful as it doesn’t allow the team to help solve an issue or see that their boss is human. Any great business leader will have the ability to be honest and upfront without compromising professional boundaries.
If you have a team member that acts as a natural mentor to others, you may have just spotted someone with leadership potential. We’re not talking about a bossy team member but one who is always helping others by teaching them new skills. This attitude towards assisting others to improve their abilities shows that they could be great in a leadership role.
Coping with Failure
When trying to spot leadership potential, look for a person who does not fall apart when they fail. Failure is inevitable if you are trying to reach lofty goals. Without failure, you wouldn’t have success. So, leaders should be well used to failure as part of their roles. Look out for how your staff respond to failure. Do they see it as a learning opportunity, or do they see it as a disaster?
A leader is someone who is never happy with ‘good enough’ when it comes to their own skills. A true leader will be always wanting to improve their skills and abilities. Learning new ways of doing things is the only way that we can adapt to change. That’s why it is so critical that anyone you promote to a leadership position is excited to keep learning and improving. They want to be an asset to your company and are willing to work to make it happen.
How to Measure Leadership Potential
Of course, you will need leaders who are highly capable. But how can you effectively measure how capable someone is at a certain skill that your organization requires. If you are looking to measure specific abilities or personality traits, there are tests that can do this for you.
Aptitude tests are designed to measure someone’s skills or abilities in a certain area. For leaders, this may include their analytical skills, ability to problem solve, or their mentoring skills. Aptitude tests come in many different forms, depending on what you would like to test the person on.
Forms of aptitude tests include:
- Verbal reasoning
- Numerical reasoning
- Abstract reasoning
- In-tray exercises
Each of these would test a potential leader in different skills. The higher the person rates, the better they are at that skill. To effectively test whether someone has leadership potential or not, you would first need to decide which skills you require of your leaders. Then you can test them on those skills.
The other main way that you can measure leadership potential is through personality tests. These tests have been created to uncover what type of traits someone possesses. For example, empathy, passion, resilience, and much more.
Leaders must get along with others, and part of this comes from emotional intelligence. You can use a personality test to determine how emotionally intelligent someone is. By using one of these to find out if a person holds the traits you deem important for a leader, you can find out whether an employee has true leadership potential.
If you want to know whether anyone on your team has leadership potential, you can first look out for the signs listed above. Then, you can test your staff with either personality tests or aptitude tests, or a combination of both. That way, when you promote someone to a leadership position, you can be fairly confident that they will be a great leader for your organization.