Whether you are a president of a chamber, college, or corporation, you should always be on the lookout to improve your own leadership skills, while developing valuable skills in others. Over my many years of training and working with chambers and other organizations, I have found the following common characteristics among all effective leaders:
In your organization there are people who have been loyal for years, working beyond what is required to support your corporate or organizational goals. They show up on time, work well with others, and create a positive, bottom-line performance. They often take their work so seriously that they bring it home, taking time from their mates and children.
They need very little, if any, oversight. When you give them a project, they not only complete it, but also contribute additional value. They view the project as intellectually challenging and want to prove to themselves and to those who lead them that they have the capacity to add significance to any project. Such a person is rare, and once located, should be mentored to even higher standards.
3. Belief in their ability to perform
When given a project, a potential leader feels confident that he or she can perform and satisfy all the requirements needed to accomplish the task. Their self-assurance stands out as they progress in determining how to attack the task at hand for the best results.
4. Play well with others in the sandbox
They have proven they can work successfully with the people in their environment, even those with different values and leadership skills. They learn how to adapt to the environment they have been given, and offer harmony instead of confusion and conflict.
5. Hunger to learn
They continually seek information and ask questions. They desire to learn as much as they can about the tasks they have been assigned. During meetings or conference calls, they are the ones who ask deeper questions about a project or proposal.
These examples are a few of the top characteristics that can be found in those ready to become leaders. Some may possess only two or three, but are ready and eager to be groomed and mentored to increase their leadership skills.
Our job as leaders is to recognize these people and begin to mentor them quickly. If we do not focus on their needs, they will find another organization or company who will.
Do not ignore your best talent – instead groom them!