Five key things to look for in emerging leaders
Collaboration, participation, and time management head the list.
February 24, 2014
Leaders are increasingly being asked to identify the emerging leaders in their organizations. Although most senior leaders embrace the importance of succession, they often struggle to ensure they have a defined template for selecting those capable of leading the business into the future.
To help in this process, we recently examined 360-degree performance appraisal data on more than 120 emerging leaders from 18 North American companies to see what leadership competencies ranked as important in selecting internal associates for leadership roles. What appear to matter are themes related to collaboration, participation, and a focus on making relationships work.
Here are the top five competencies for emerging leaders:
1. Is effective at collaborationEmerging leaders are those who effectively collaborate and can maintain cooperative work relationships with others. They complete their own tasks for group projects in a timely and responsible manner, which directly contributes to the group goal.
2. Delivers consistent and collective resultsEmerging leaders who are effective in delivering results not only assume personal responsibility for achieving outcomes but also work effectively with others to ensure collective results are delivered. In short, they are dependable, responsible, team focused, and sharing.
3. Manages his or her time and others’ timeEmerging leaders are competent at managing their time and the time of others. They effectively handle multiple demands and competing deadlines. They excel at identifying goals, developing plans, estimating time frames, defining contingencies, and monitoring their progress and the progress of those whose collaboration is needed.
4. Is effective in relationship managementEmerging leaders who are effective work hard to develop positive relationships with individuals outside their work group and in particular with their peers. They frequently consider how their actions and decisions may impact other work groups/teams and work collaboratively to accomplish collective or shared goals.
5. Is an active meeting contributorEmerging leaders are active contributors/participants at meetings. They are prepared, offer their point of view, and volunteer and accept action items resulting from these meetings.
Identifying emerging leaders does not need to be an unsettling process for those charged with this task. Using these top five competencies and their respective behaviors as a starting point can aid senior leaders in making a more informed evaluation of emerging leaders in their organization.
Robert Denker, Ph.D., MBA, is managing principal of rd&partners, an executive coaching and assessment firm that helps organizations across North America and Europe build and retain their top performing talent.