How To Identify Leaders In Your Organization In A Smart Way

Feb. 1, 2022
Leadership is one of the most essential soft skills gaining great traction in the corporate world. Every organization needs a good pool of charismatic leaders who can come together and […]

Leadership is one of the most essential soft skills gaining great traction in the corporate world. Every organization needs a good pool of charismatic leaders who can come together and take it to the next level. After all, exceptional business leadership has a lot to do with the idea of cultivating more leaders in the organization. Having said that, employers look for various ways in which they can identify smart and reliable leaders among their employees.

Being an employer, you want nothing short of excellent leaders in the crucial positions of project managers, team managers, and executives, within your organization. Needless to say, the advancement and success of your business largely depend on the credibility of individuals in these positions. Hence, it is important that you analyze the leadership potential of your employees in a holistic manner. This ensures that the future leaders within the organization are worthy and capable enough.

In this blog, we look at some actionable ways in which you can identify prospective and promising leaders among your employees. Leadership, after all, is an exquisite art, and not everyone is a good artist at that! You should know how to spot out outstanding leaders among your workforce. In the ultimate sense, these future leaders will have massive responsibilities to take care of in the coming years. So, without further ado, let us glance at some effective strategies for identifying the best candidates for leadership roles.

Worthwhile Ways Of Recognizing Future Corporate Leaders

1. Make Company’s Decision-Making Inclusive

Do you seek your employees’ opinions when you make vital organizational decisions? In case you do not, it is time you might want to change that. A work environment driven by inclusive decision-making yields great results.

To begin with, collective decision-making can be paramount to driving high employee engagement. Of course, you already know how salient employee engagement is to business success. Did you know this significant fact: teams that engage in an active manner can uplift profitability by up to 21% as per Gallup.

Moreover, comprehensive decision-making gives you a perfect opportunity to identify potential leaders among your employees. When employees share their ideas and opinions, you get a chance to know their perspectives. You get an insight into their thought processes, and how progressive and forward-looking they are. In fact, that is one of the truest measures of leadership potential.

You want people who exhibit critical thinking, have outside-the-box perspectives, and are not afraid of challenging the ordinary. Moreover, you want your future leaders to be flamboyant and not hold back from expressing themselves. These are the kind of employees who would make the best prospects for team leaders, project managers, and executives, in the near future.

Besides, inclusive decision-making also ensures qualitative decisions. As per Harvard Business School:

  • Not more than 28% of executives rate their company’s decision-making as efficient.
  • To add, 60%  of them report that their organizations make bad decisions often.

Having said that, it is recommended by industry leaders that the top management should go all-inclusive while making organizational decisions. So, as you can see, with inclusiveness, you get the chance to groom leaders and cultivate quality.

2. Evaluate Your Employees For EQ

Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, is growing in significance in the corporate world at a swift pace. To substantiate, business organizations are now keen on hiring people who come with sharp EQ. In fact, per Cision, 95% of HR managers assert that in contemporary times, it is vital for employees to have strong EQ. More than a soft skill, emotional intelligence is a distinguishable leadership trait.

To understand better, let us highlight the key components of EQ that include the following.

  • Self-regulation
  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Motivation
  • Social skills

All these elements are qualities that you look for in a prospective leader.

  • With EQ, individuals are able to manage their emotions, as well as others’ emotions, in a positive way.
  • Besides, with empathy a leader can inspire greater coherence and allegiance between team members to produce great outcomes.
  • Furthermore, people with EQ carry overwhelming self-motivation along with a sense of self-awareness, and they radiate the same onto others.

Would you not be more than happy to hand over leadership roles to such dynamic individuals?

Also, people who have strong virtues of EQ have exemplary social skills. They know how to talk to others, treat others, and inspire others, even amid a crisis. This is something you expect from all your managers and executives. Therefore, to identify the best leadership prospects in your workforce, you should assess your employees on their Emotional Intelligence. At the same time, you should model it for them and promote it in the workplace.

3. Make Feedbacks Interactive

Why keep feedbacks unilateral and unidirectional? It is always better to keep feedback sharing interactive and let your employees also share their feedback for the organization. While this is a great way to get valuable suggestions, it also helps you in spotting candidates for future leadership roles.

Employees who can share feedback without any hesitation, bring exceptional suggestions on the floor, and have a vision for the organization, are your best bet for leadership roles. Therefore, interactive feedback sharing can be a pragmatic way to identify candidates for leadership positions. You have to find ways to know what ideas, plans, and vision, your employees have for the growth of the organization. Besides their own career advancement, they should also envisage goals for the organization.

4. Promote Creative Liberty In The Workplace

Ordinary leaders often achieve ordinary outcomes. But is that enough to meet the goals you have for your business? When you look at the prospects of leadership in your employees, you should look for a spark in them. The spark to go beyond the ordinary and excel on an everyday basis. To put it in simple terms: individuals with impeccable creativity and problem-solving skills make great leadership prospects. Given that, you ought to promote creative liberty in the workplace. Allow them to be as creative as they want to be unless they are not meeting their work commitments with diligence.

When you empower their creativity, their true abilities, and problem-solving traits, are more visible than ever. You get to know who are the people you can rely on to find creative and innovative solutions to all problems.

On the other hand, if the workplace environment curtails and discourages creative inputs, you will never know what your employees are truly capable of. When you grant them the freedom to be creative and flexible, they bring out the best in them.

Needless to say, each organization wants leaders who embrace challenges. A true leader is one who would talk about solutions right away rather than portraying helplessness in tough times. Maintaining a leadership edge in turbulent times is the key!

Both creativity and problem-solving are complementary to exemplary leadership. As per the World Economic Forum, creativity is integral to 9 of the top 10 professional skills for the future. Your best chance to identify creative potentials and problem-solving abilities in your employees is to set them free to express their creativity.

5. Assess Your Employees For Virtual Collaboration Skills

Telecommuting is the future of work, and all of us are well aware of it. Hybrid teams, freelancing jobs, health insurance for remote organizations — are all part of the new normal.

As per Forbes, by 2025, 70% of the global workforce will be working in remote and flexible arrangements. In other words, remote work is all set to be a corporate standard. Having said that, virtual collaboration skills are indispensable for future leaders.

You want your future leaders to have strong visual collaboration skills with vast know-how of digital tools. For managing teams, delivering qualitative remote projects, and maintaining consistent communication, virtual collaboration is pivotal. It is a well-known fact that a lack of collaboration can result in major business failures.

As per SalesForce, 86% of employees cite ineffective collaboration as the key reason for project failure. Hence, you would not want to have leaders who do not have the skills to ensure effective team collaboration via virtual means. So, it becomes imperative that you evaluate the virtual collaboration skills of your employees when you look to find bright leaders among them.

6. Create Enough Leadership Opportunities

How will you recognize potential leaders if there are not enough leadership opportunities? One of the best ways to identify leaders is to have people take up leadership roles. Based on how they perform, you get a clear idea of who your best leadership prospects are. Having said that, you ought to create consistent leadership opportunities for your employees.

In the pursuit of doing so, you can begin to give them more responsibilities. In fact, a calculative and cautious delegation of authority, discretion, and power, can be a great idea. When you delegate tasks and authority to your employees, you get an idea of their leadership qualities. For starters, people who volunteer to take up more responsibilities and show great enthusiasm when you delegate work make good leadership candidates. On the other hand, those who see it as a burden get off the list by default.

You can also create more leadership opportunities during employee engagement activities. Besides, you can initiate some worthwhile discussions apart from work during breaks and let others steer them further. On similar lines, you can let your employees take the lead in planning office events or creating the elevator pitch for clients. There are multifaceted ways in which you can extend leadership opportunities to your employees.

7. Introduce A Reverse Mentoring Arrangement

Can mentoring go the other way around wherein subordinates mentor senior executives? Of course, it can, and reverse mentoring is a thing for real.

Mentoring programs are crucial for organizations to deliver on the learning and development requirements of employees. Moreover, mentoring programs inspire greater confidence in employees.

These initiatives also assist them in aligning their goals with organizational objectives in a more worthwhile manner. If you look at almost all industry leaders like Google, Microsoft, Accenture, Caterpillar, they all have excellent mentoring programs.

Speaking of our common perception of mentorship, we often see it as senior leaders mentoring subordinates and new recruits. However, reverse mentoring happens in the opposite direction. In a reverse mentoring arrangement, juniors mentor the senior employees or executives on certain aspects. You will be glad to know that General Electric has an outstanding reverse mentoring program for its employees.

While this is great for employee engagement and inspiring greater coherence, it can also be a great way to pick out and groom leaders. How well your employees can mentor their seniors, the confidence exhibit, their maturity, and the soft skills they exhibit, gives you a real picture of their leadership characteristics. Beyond that, there are other fascinating benefits of reverse mentoring arrangements too that you should definitely explore.

8. Look For People Who Show Great Accountability

Accountability is an indispensable credential of a leader’s character. In fact, being a great leader is all about the character an individual illustrates. True leaders own up to their actions and do now shy away from being answerable. Even if they take a certain risk or experiment with things, they own up to the adverse outcomes. You do not want your executives and managers to deflect accountability and blames.

Hence, in the pursuit of finding leaders, you ought to look for people with a personality trait of accountability. Decisions in the workplace can go wrong at times, and failures are a part of the game. You already understand that quite well, and you must have seen that happen often in your journey as an entrepreneur.

While things do not always go as planned, not taking the responsibility for them is a greater problem. The bottom line is that for leadership roles, you need to invest in people who have a strong virtue of accountability.

To encapsulate, spotting leaders in the crowd is an art in itself. Being a business leader, you need to master this art. You ought to make sure that you make the most appropriate decisions when it comes to advancing your employees to leadership positions.

The future belongs to those who can lead with vision and exceptional problem-solving abilities. For obvious reasons, you want your business to claim a large stake in this future. To assist you in choosing the right leaders, the strategies listed earlier can prove to be the key.


Jessica Robinson is an educational writer, and has even penned down many motivational blogs for various websites. She spills the magic of her thoughts through her blog “The Speaking Polymath”, in which she makes the reader experience her management proficiency along with her skill to resolve matters of global importance.

Email: [email protected]

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-robinson10/

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