identify leadership potential Ira S Wofle

The Importance of Identifying Leadership Potential Employees

Finding, engaging, and retaining high potential employees could be one of the hardest challenges most companies face. Identifying high potential employees and priming them for leadership roles is crucial to improving the overall success of a business. At the same time, it fosters a culture of growing the company from within instead of bringing in new people.

This is also an incredible way to ensure a competitive advantage in the future using intentional, proactive, and strategic succession planning, which is great for the growth of an organization.

The question is, how do you identify leadership potential in your employees? Read on to learn more. 

91% of high potential employees are extremely valuable, and losing them would be a significant liability to your company. The benefit lies in identifying and developing them because, in turn, they’ll reward you with engagement, commitment, and productivity, which will lead to great business outcomes. Even better, your business will have a good succession plan in place.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of identifying leadership potential employees in your company. We’ll make it easy for you to locate the future leaders of your business.

There are many considerations that should go into this assessment, and you should know that it may not be easy. However, it’s vital for the growth of your business.

1. Focus on Potential and Not Performance

It is true that performance is the measure of expertise and ability, making it essential in identifying a leader. However, there is so much more to it than meets the eye.

When evaluating an employee, look beyond their performance. Consider other aspects like their aptitude and desire to grow, their communication skills, how they develop others, team-building skills, and their overall influence.

After conducting a leadership potential assessment and observing your employees, you’ll find that some are high performers, but are not cut out to be leaders, regardless of how much you’d want them to fit in.

To explore a list of the top 10 leadership skills, check out this guide.

2. Check Their Level of Engagement

Do any of your employees make thoughtful suggestions or even ask insightful questions? These are the kind of people you are looking for as they’re already showing leadership skills. Look for those employees who generally have an interest in the future of your company, and how their effort contributes to its success.

How keen and observant are they? Do they evaluate business actions and strategies?

Leadership potential employees show involvement in everything going on in the business. Identify who the catalysts and the watchers are.

Some employees will make things happen, and make any necessary decisions to see projects are completed as required. Others, however, will sit back, watch, and wait for those who will take the reins to do so, and once decisions are made, they are just sucked into the proceedings.

The catalysts have an aptitude for leadership because they facilitate project completion the minute they take over and make decisions. The watchers, however, cannot lead.

3. How Comfortable Are They With Failure?

Good work ethics have never been based on people who succeed in everything they do. They are found in people who have failed time and again, but trying still nonetheless.

Leadership potential employees modify their approach to problems until they finally come to a solution that works, regardless of how hard it is. Measuring resilience, however, is not easy, but using the leadership potential assessment, you’ll find the right people.

4. Find a Predictive Assessment Strategy

If you evaluate your employees by what made you successful, you’ll get leaders just like you. This may seem like a good thing, but they’re more likely to make the same mistakes you’ve made. This means there may not be an improvement in the management of the business.

You may not be the best judge of character, so utilize the right tools and methods to identify your high potential employees. One thing you need to decide on is what success looks like within different leadership roles then assigns success factors to each one. Look for future-focused skills and disciplines.

5. Check Their Accountability

We’ve already established that even good leaders will fail. What sets them apart from the rest is whether they hold themselves accountable. If a person does not want to take accountability for their actions, they’re unlikely to be good leaders. Leaders recognize their mistakes, adjust things, and move forward.

Beyond that, they should be able to show emotional intelligence. Some people are not able to hold in their thoughts or feelings during a crisis.

If you recognize employees that handle high-stress situations effectively, it shows they have an aptitude for leadership. This does not mean they should internalize their emotions. Instead, they need to take up a proactive and objective approach to situations, which is known as emotional agility.

6. Potential Leaders Build Trust

The best leaders are not boastful, and they don’t need to prove themselves to others. This means that they’ll not try to show off but instead build trust and inspire others to grow and achieve even more. Any leader that needs validation for their success will rub off everyone the wrong way, put off colleagues, and bring the conflict in the company.

Leadership potential employees have great communication skills. They effortlessly put their point across to the people under them. A great leader will have the ability to communicate ideas in a concise manner and will also listen to others.

Identifying Leadership Potential Employees

Identifying high potential employees in your organization is no easy feat. However, it’s vital for the success of your company. This is more beneficial for you and your employees when you don’t bring in leaders that are completely new to the company.

Identify your leadership potential employees and engage them early. Allow them to solve bigger problems so you can assess their capabilities.

If you have no idea how to do this, kindly get in touch with us. We’ll help you assess and promote the right employees to leadership roles within the organization.