3 Characteristics Businesses Should Look for in a Potential Leader

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Companies are in need of more and better leadership, especially during these uncertain economic times.  “Leadership” doesn’t merely refer to top-level leaders, but leaders at all levels. Strong, confident leaders who can help keep a business on track, ensuring its goals are met and employees are motivated, are invaluable. 

One of the reasons a company may find it difficult to grow their leadership team is because they are not clear on what to look for in a leader. By gaining clarity about what characteristics a leader of their business should possess, employers can more easily spot potential leaders, both inside and outside of their organization. 

3 Qualities Exceptional Leaders Possess

Does your company need to fill leadership positions? If so, seek candidates that:

1. Are great in a crisis — The ability to manage various crises is critical to someone in a leadership position. They must be able to put out fires creatively while seeing that those they supervise are still able to perform their job tasks effectively. Some do not have the inclination to do this. Crisis management skills can be learned, but not everyone has a natural bent toward keeping a cool head in a tough situation. 

Referring to crisis management among company leaders, an infographic shared by The Muse stated, “Growing pains are natural with all forms of change. Good leaders can roll with the punches.” If an employee is great in a crisis, or quickly adopts and implements crisis management skills learned in training, they may be a good fit for a leadership position. 

2. Can lead, not just perform — Some potential leaders are star performers, but this doesn’t mean all top performers are destined for leadership positions. “An employee starts at an entry level job working on a team, advances to manage her own projects, then eventually is promoted to lead a team of her own,” wrote a contributor to Inc. “This has created an expectation that it is necessary to become a manager or leader of people to move upward in responsibility or compensation.” By only moving individuals who have the strengths a leadership position calls for, your company can ensure that only the right individuals for the job become leaders.

3. Are positive — In some company cultures, the word “positivity” has lost its impact due to overuse. Most people are all too familiar with the admonishment to be more positive and are tired of being reminded of the benefits of a positive attitude. Nevertheless, positivity is one of the qualities great leaders possess. “Leaders inspire their team not based on their own goals or outcomes, but on their exhibited behavior, life outlook, and attitude in any given situation,” Adam Enfroy explained. An inspired team is more productive and more happy than a team being driven by a leader who doesn’t inspire, but rather nags or motivates with fear. The difference between these two types of leaders is that one is positive and the other is not. 

What Does Your Company Need in a Leader?

There are several general characteristics and qualities leaders should possess, such as the ability to effectively navigate a crisis, to lead and not merely perform, and to inspire a team through positivity. Add those to your company’s list of qualities to seek in a leader, but don’t stop there. Be sure to also include qualities, skills, and abilities that would serve your company specifically.

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