In identifying candidates for key positions in your company, the most important attribute to consider is leadership ability. Can the candidate lead and will other employees follow? Nothing is more important. Wikipedia defines leadership as “a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.” Your future CEO must possess this attribute to effectively move the company forward.
As you look around your company, potential future leaders are usually not hard to identify. They most often possess traits such as charisma, intelligence, confidence, sound judgment, and team orientation. They do not necessarily need to be the best liked person in the crowd, but other employees respect their views and ideas and listen when they speak. They are very efficient and competent in their current position and they get things done. Leaders have the ability to influence others in a positive way and achieve team results. They have a “company first” outlook as opposed to a “me first” orientation.
This is not to say that leadership skills cannot be learned or acquired. They can, and many develop these skills over time. Much is written on the matter of whether leaders are born or developed, and there are good examples of both. The point is, though, that the people who demonstrate leadership qualities are the future leaders of your company. They are the folks in whom your company must invest. They are the ones your company should challenge with increased responsibility, more exposure to top management, and high-level training. Whether it’s the controller, the sales manager, or the new kid in the mailroom, identifying your company’s leaders and paying some special attention to these people is critical to keeping a pipeline of future leaders in your organization.
Find your leaders and get them ready.
Has your company identified its future leaders? Share in the comments.