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How to Spot a Future Leader in Your Work Force

August 13, 2012

By: Carletta Clyatt

When growing your business, branching out or adding new management, the best place to look for potential leaders is in your current work force. After all, who knows the ins and outs of your company better?

Even if you don’t have any current plans to expand, it’s a good idea to be on the look-out for innovators, risk takers and go-getters...individuals who can help bring your organization to a new level.

So how can you spot people with growth potential? Fortunately for you, they are hard to keep in the background.

Here's what to look for...

People who take initiative in their current role, make suggestions for improvement but do not overstep boundaries. Leaders are not content with the status quo and are ready to make changes, and eager to make things happen.
People who work independently and think outside the box while respecting important rules and procedures. Potential managers do not need much day-to-day guidance and want to be free to try new things.
People who make decisions without needing to confer with their manager or carefully review guidelines. While natural leaders are not reckless, they are able to handle the consequences if a decision does not work out right.
People who build solid professional relationships. They might be outgoing and expressive or more serious and informative, but they know how to connect with people to get the job done. Future managers are often respected and consulted by others on their team.
People who consistently show good judgment in what they say and do on the job. These people make wise decisions, choose their words carefully and maintain necessary confidentiality. A good manager does not overthink matters, but is not impulsive or careless either.

If you think you have spotted future leaders in your midst, consider having a behavioral assessment done, spend time training and mentoring them, and offer them a new project or added responsibilities to see how they fare. Given the chance, they might amaze you.

Carletta Clyatt

Carletta Clyatt, a popular seminar speaker, is the SVP at The Omnia Group. She offers clients advice on how to manage more effectively and gain insight into employee strengths, weaknesses and behaviors. For more information about employee behavioral assessments, call Carletta at 813-280-3026 or email:

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