I am often approached by employees asking what I look for in future leaders in my organization.
I’ve got great results… but ….”how can I get promoted?”
Over the years, I have shared a long and growing list…
- unwavering integrity
- confident humility
- passionate vision
- teamwork down, up, and sideways
- energetic creativity
- change leadership
- zealousness for employee development
Which then leads to the next question…how can I develop these skills and get noticed?
Again I have a list…
- Develop a gaggle of fantastic mentors
- Look at leaders you admire, and learn those skills
- Pay even closer attention to leaders who annoy you, and figure out why
- Take lateral moves that make you an all-terrain player
- Volunteer for special projects
- Talk to people who are doing your dream job, learn what it takes, and express interest
I’ve come to realize that these lists are a lot of advice, and more than any human being can take in one sitting. Conversations like this can be overwhelming and feel like a bit of a development deluge.
These days my list is more simple.
When looking for future leader in my organization, I consider 3 questions:
- How well do you know yourself– are you working to grow as a leader?
- Do your results last?
- What do your people say about you?
Every organization is different… and what is needed and valued from leaders will vary as well. Across organizations and contexts, these 3 questions have held constant.
What are your top 3? How are you inspiring the best answers to these questions in yourself and others?