Identify Your Future Leaders

As the war for talent continues, it makes more sense for companies to spend time developing their future leaders instead of bringing them in from the outside.

You may be a future leader if:

1. You have vision: If you have vision you can inspire teams and motivate performance. As a leader you should be able to align the organization around a clear and achievable vision.

2.  You have “stand out” performance:  If you have a track record of success in leadership roles you will have a much better chance at leading than someone who has not.

3.  You are humble: Smart leaders know they don’t know it all and aren’t afraid to ask others to share their ideas.

4.  You are a good communicator: If you have good communication skills and can get your thoughts across effectively to various levels and audience, you’ll do well.

5.  You believe in servant leadership: You know it’s not about you; it’s about the rest of the organization. Servant leaders evoke trust, inspiration and loyalty from their followers.

6.  You are flexible: You know there are various ways to get a job done and you are not into command and control.

7.  You are focused: You know what should be priority and where time and resources should be spent.

8.  You are accountable: You don’t blame others and you don’t claim credit for their successes but you are accountable to your people.

9.  You get company culture: You know that a good company culture fosters a happy and engaged workforce.

10.  You have courage: Even in the face of fear, you are able to move forward because you know that’s what it takes to challenge the status quo.

Good leaders are not born, they are made by people that saw potential in them and took the time to develop them and let them spread their wings. Too many times I’ve seen really good people leave a company they felt they had no opportunities to advance with.

The war for talent is real, it’s not the title of some hyped-up media story. It’s past time for companies to wake up and see the talent in their own backyard and start developing it or lose it to the competition.

**This post was based on Mike Myatt’s post in Forbes on Oct. 18, 2012 “Ways to Identify Bad Leaders”  

If you would like more information about the case for developing internal leaders vs. bringing them in from the outside, take a look at the Wharton blog, The Case for Developing Internal Leadership

Download the Leadership Development Factbook from Bersin regarding investments in leadership development.

The important role of assessments: Assessments are an important component of leadership development. The most mature companies leverage assessments extensively to identify talent for leadership roles. Assessments can also provide leaders with feedback on their strengths and skills gaps – which can then serve as fodder for creating targeted development opportunities. The most successful senior leaders are those who know themselves very well play to their strengths and create high-performing teams capable of compensating for their weaknesses.