To recognize leadership potential in your team, you need to first ask yourself how you define leadership. Simply, leadership is defined as leading a group of people or an organization. However, most people define leaders with certain characteristics and/or qualities that really distinguish them from others.
Words commonly used to describe leaders include:
- Positive influence
- Ability to communicate clearly
How do you define leadership in your organization? What characteristics and qualities are you looking for in your future leaders? Company culture helps drive developing new leaders amongst your team. Make sure you are an organization that believes in leadership roles at all levels while also fostering development for those future leaders.
“A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential.” – Brené Brown
Here are some ways in which you can recognize leadership potential and cultivate development of future leaders in your organization:
BE PRESENT: Are you present and being an active leader when you are at work or are you locked away in your office and in meetings all day? Take a break throughout the day and spend some time on the floor, watching your team interact with each other and with members.
Is there someone who stands out as a leader, someone the team or members look to when there is a question or conflict? Make note of this when it happens, praise that team member for their leadership and encourage them.
1-1 MEETINGS: In addition to being present, it is so important to regularly be meeting with your team members individually and discussing their goals and/or future with the company. Not everyone wants to be in a leadership position but for those who do, they will need your guidance and support.
If you are not having regular discussions with your team members, how do you know how you can best support them and guide them? Make sure your 1-1 meetings are scheduled and consistent so team members know their growth and development is a priority to you.
PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES: When you have identified team members in your organization who are ready to take next steps into leadership, make sure you are providing them with the opportunity to do so. Involve them in your meetings and allow them to have a dedicated opportunity in the next team meeting.
Connect them with a mentor and provide them with resources such as conferences, webinars and recommended books. If you are being a good leader, providing opportunity for others should come naturally.
A key aspect of leadership is truly about being able to use your influence to develop other leaders. As a leader, you should never be afraid to coach someone up to be better than you. In fact, it should be the exact opposite. The more leaders you develop, the more positive influence you have on your team and organization to be better than yesterday.
So, the question is, what type of leader do you want to be remembered as?