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7 Ways to Spot Potential Leaders in The Workplace

7 Ways to Spot Potential Leaders in The Workplace

In business organizations, leadership is just as important now as it was centuries ago. As you can imagine, if everyone were allowed to do whatever they felt like, no projects would get completed on time, or even at all. Leadership allows the smooth transition of information and ideas throughout an organization and makes execution of these ideas possible.

How to Spot Leadership Potential in Others

There are many ways to spot potential leaders in the workplace. One way that companies have done this in the past and the present is by conducting aptitude tests. These tests can help you gain insight if candidates have the capacity to adapt to new challenges and drive changes in your business.

Several signs can help you identify potential leaders in the workplace. By looking for these markers, you can increase your chances of having happy employees and ultimately more productive teams.

They’re Team Players

A potential leader will often obsess over building and maintaining excellent working relationships. The best leaders take the time to help other employees develop as well. This willingness to help others will make a difference in your organization. It creates stronger bonds and motivates people who wouldn’t otherwise be motivated to work as hard as they do.

A true leader will also see the big picture, and they’ll work to get people on board with their vision for what needs to be done to reach that goal. They won’t just strive for glory or credit, but instead know that teamwork can lead everyone involved to achieve more than they could have achieved on their own.

To do this, a leader needs to trust their members. Trust is an important factor in any team. Without it, teams won’t be able to work together and reach their goals.

They Take Initiative

Leaders will step forward and help even if they aren’t asked to, and people who demonstrate this kind of behavior early on are the ones you should be keeping an eye out for. Selfless leaders like these can make the team more productive because their desire to help others propels them to fix problems and motivate others.

This characteristic usually comes out from a good understanding of the company’s goals and culture. A person who understands what’s expected of them can set the tone through their actions. They also tend to be more motivated and confident in taking strides than the others.

They’re Self-Aware

Self-awareness is one’s knowledge of personal strengths and weaknesses. It’s an important quality that all leaders should possess. Seeing where you could do better and knowing what you’re best at will help a great leader maximize their team’s potential before they even begin to tackle challenges.

This goes hand in hand with being successful, but not in the sense you may think. Someone who has taken time to reflect on their own capacities knows how to lead their team into getting things done. They know what to do and how to do it, which helps them to become more relatable as a leader.

They’re Positive

Leaders who can effectively motivate their team to think positively and approach every day with a good mentality can increase employee productivity. This kind of mindset is contagious, and people will want to follow someone who strives to make things happen for themselves and for others.

They Have a Strong Work Ethic

When you hire the right person for the job, they will put in a solid effort. The ones you know are going places will be hard workers who will finish their tasks as soon as possible. Once they do this, they can take on more significant projects or help other colleagues. This quality is a sure sign of a potential leader.

Many think that to be a leader, a person needs to be born with it. However, the person may simply have worked hard to get where they are today. They could be seen as a leader because of how driven they are to complete tasks at hand.

They’re Good Listeners

People who ask questions and listen carefully to the answers will be able to make intelligent decisions. Leaders will see what’s going on around them, and they’ll be able to pick up on subtle cues from those around them so that they can help everyone out.

This trait might also have something to do with high emotional intelligence. Leaders can empathize with people, and they understand how their actions affect those around them. Leaders need to have this quality because it makes people trust them more. People will also want to help leaders who are easygoing, friendly, and sincere about the things they believe in.

They Understand the Big Picture

Leaders can see how their efforts tie into a bigger mission, and they’re dedicated to making it a success. People who can do this will help others get more invested in what they’re doing because everyone wants to be part of something meaningful and successful. Therefore, if the employee can communicate that your company’s goals are worthwhile, you’ll have more people working for them.


To lead, an employee has to be able to do all of these things. Take the time each day to see which employees are improving themselves. When it comes down to it, people will always follow someone they can look up to.

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by Lottie Pritchard // Lottie Pritchard is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.