How to Identify Leaders Within Your Company

By Maria Forbes
July 10, 2020

When creating a succession plan for your company, you must determine who will lead its employees on the path to prosperity. Leaders are the guiding force behind all successful companies. They provide employees with the tools, training and motivation needed for professional excellence.
Corporate leadership isn’t static, though. It’s a dynamic element that changes on a regular basis. Some of your company’s current leaders will inevitably part ways with your company. Seeing a valued leader leave can be disheartening to the say the least, but you can keep your company on the path to prosperity by finding a replacement. To do this, you must know how to identify employees with leadership potential.

Gladly Accept Criticism

In your search for potential leaders, pay attention to whether employees accept or reject constructive criticism. Employees with strong leadership potential will gladly accept constructive criticism from their peers.
Not all employees exhibit this trait. Many reject constructive criticism, believing they performed a task correctly when they actually made one or more mistakes. Employees who are eager to receive feedback – even if it’s in the form of constructive criticism – will typically serve as better leaders than their counterparts. They don’t just listen to feedback; they accept it and apply the feedback to the future work activities.

Not Afraid to Fail

You can identify leaders within your company by searching for employees who aren’t afraid to fail. Leaders aren’t afraid to fail. They realize that failure is just a steppingstone to success, so they embrace it.
Because they aren’t afraid to fail, employees with strong leadership potential are willing to take risks. They’ll accept new projects and tasks that they may not otherwise be familiar with. If an employee fails at the project or task, he or she won’t give up. Instead, the employee will learn from his or her mistakes. In this regard, leaders are more adaptive than non-leaders. They are able to adapt in response to failure so that they don’t make the same mistakes twice.


Another common trait found in leaders is punctuality. Leaders have an innate drive to excel at their job. As a result, they usually work according to the times for which they are scheduled. Non-leaders, on the other hand, are oftentimes late. Some employees show up late almost daily, whereas others may simply now show up.
Most employees won’t have a perfect attendance record – and that’s okay. According to one report, the average employee takes two-and-a-half sick days per year. Like all employees, leaders aren’t immune to illness. If they catch a transmissible infection, you should encourage them to stay home so that they don’t infect other employees. Nonetheless, you can gauge an employee’s leadership potential by determining whether he or she punctual. Punctual employees who are eager to begin working on time serve as better leaders than their unpunctual counterparts.

Interpersonal Skills

Leaders exhibit a combination of both technical and interpersonal skills. What are interpersonal skills exactly? They are social skills that affect how an employee is able to communicate with his or her peers and coworkers. Conversely, technical skills are specific work-related skills required for a job or task.
While most employees have strong technical skills, many of them lack interpersonal skills. As a result, they aren’t suitable candidates to lead your company. Leaders are defined by their ability to guide employees. This can only be accomplished through communications. Employees with strong interpersonal skills are able to convey and receive information from other people more effectively, so they tend to make excellent leaders.


Leaders hold themselves accountable. When a leader fails, he or she won’t pass the buck by placing blame on someone else. Instead, they hold themselves accountable by accepting the blame. They will listen to your feedback without deflecting blame onto someone else.
Accountability is a trait shared by nearly all successful corporate leaders. As you search for potential leaders, pay attention to whether employees are willing to accept responsibility for their actions. Along with the other factors described here, this will help you find leaders within your company.


Evaluating employees’ multitasking abilities can also help you identify leaders within your company. Leaders are often required to perform multiple tasks at once. A leader, for example, may be responsible for guiding a team of over a dozen employees.
While workers often have a single task on which to focus, it’s a different story for leaders. Leaders are responsible for governing multiple employees. Therefore, they require strong multitasking skills.
There are leaders in all companies. As your company’s leadership changes, though, you’ll need to determine which employees have leadership potential. Only then can you create an effective succession plan that keeps your company on the right path for success. You can refer to the tips outlined here to identify leaders within your company.

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