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What to look for when in emerging leaders

I was recently asked what I would look for when identifying emerging leaders. It only took me a few minutes to consider this and come up with 3 key characteristics:

  • Ability to empathizecaterpillar-chrysalis-adult
  • Willingness to be vulnerable
  • Clarity of communication
While these skills can be acquired, someone who exhibits them authentically and naturally, is likely to be highly successful in a leadership role.
The person who is able to empathize with others acquires significant insight into fears and perceived barriers to success. In the leadership role, this person will be able to assist any staff person to move through these perceived hurdles and have a clear pathway to becoming a high performer.
The person who is willing be vulnerable and acknowledge their own strengths and weaknesses will create a workplace where all staff are willing to do the same. The result will be a collaborative organization with individuals who embrace teamwork and positive risk taking.
The person who knows how to ask clarifying questions and is open to giving and receiving feedback is someone who can communicate with clarity. This person will easily engage staff and will develop a motivated and engaged team of followers.
The individual who has all of these characteristics can be coached on how to blend them and when to apply them and will easily becomes not only a successful boss but also the charismatic leader.