Identifying Leadership Potential
By JC Heinen on July 20, 2012
The success of an organization is tied to its ability to recognize and develop future leaders. Forward-thinking organizations understand that expertise and skill should not be the sole yardsticks for measuring leadership potential. Achieving a high level of success as an individual contributor is not the same as leading the high performance of others. New leaders often fail because they lacked a support system to help them make the shift from “doing” to “leading.”
In his Talent Management article, “How to Recognize Promotable Technical Employees,” Daniel R. Tobin asserts that without key competencies, even “technically gifted” employees may become unhappy and unsuccessful in management roles and want to return to a previous position.
What key attributes should your organization look for when assessing who, among their top performers, have the right stuff to advance into leadership roles?
- Ability: Intellectual, technical and emotional skills to handle increasingly complex challenges
- Engagement: Level of personal connection/commitment the employee feels toward his or her role and to the firm and its mission
- Aspiration: Desire for recognition, advancement and future rewards
New leaders must demonstrate a true desire to grow and develop continuously. There is a steep learning curve so it’s important to provide new leaders with internal support, guidance and coaching so that they don’t feel they’re alone and adrift in a challenging and complex new role.