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Developing good leaders is a deceptively complex process. Identifying the right prospects, if you are an employer or looking within yourself as a professional to determine if you have the right qualities to become a leader takes a great deal of insight. You must understand what it takes to make a true leader and not just a manager.

If you are developing a leadership development plan, begin by identifying leadership gaps, then finding and developing potential leaders within the company.

What qualities must be identified?

Consider whether you or those you wish to consider for promotion to a leadership role possess these traits:

Leading and managing skills. Leaders must be able to solve problems, make decisions and inspire people.

Strategic thinking. The skills associated with developing business strategies can be taught, but leaders must be capable of seeing the big picture.

Integrity. Leaders must be honest and able to behave ethically in situations where others may be tempted to compromise their values.

Communication. Potential leaders must be able to express themselves clearly both verbally and in writing.

Relationship building. Look for those who get along with people both inside and outside the organization. They should be persuasive and able to work with those of varied cultures and customs.

How can these qualities be further developed?

Consider first the goals and values of the organization. What leadership style do you exhibit? What do you expect from your leadership team? Develop those with a leadership style that meshes with the goals and values of your organization.

For best results take these steps:

  • Discuss career goals with those you identify as potential leaders.
  • Create a roadmap to develop skills and realize potential.
  • Conduct trainings and mentor those you’ve chosen for possible promotion.
  • Develop retention programs for current and future leaders to prevent a
  • Begin a succession program for critical roles to avoid leadership gaps.

The key to successfully developing leaders is to spend considerable time determining what the company’s expectations are and then identifying those who possess these qualities. Take the time to build on their strengths and address their weaknesses. For expert help in hiring those with true leadership potential, contact the executive recruiting team at BrainWorks. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.


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