A good business owner or executive is always looking toward the future. One of the most important elements of the future of any company is making sure the leadership of the company is always strong and that there is always a new crop of leaders ready to take over at any time.
It is extremely difficult to hire leaders of your company from the outside. Strong leaders are the ones that have spent years developing a reputation with the staff and have already gathered the respect of the employees.
The leaders of your company’s future need to already be on your staff and should already be developing their leadership skills. You do not want to develop leaders too quickly, but you do want to be able to take advantage of the moment when your young leaders are ready to start injecting new ideas into your company’s management team. When you are interviewing younger candidates, there are some things you should look for that will help you to spot your future leaders.
A history of leadership
Young leaders are sometimes easy to spot because they have never shied away from the leadership role. When you read a resume and see a candidate who has been the editor of the college newspaper, the president of the senior class and the president of several on-campus clubs, then you have a future leader on your hands. It is always easier to put people in a position of authority when those people feel comfortable in that position already.
A strong educational background
It helps when your young leaders have an educational background in your particular industry, but there are other educational aspects you are looking for as well.
Young leaders who take classes related to motivation, psychology, sociology and history are giving themselves a strong foundation for being able to appreciate a company’s past and in determining the best way to get the most out of a staff of employees. When you read the college transcript of a leader, you can see the patterns that indicate that the student knows what it takes to lead people.
A young person who has jumped from job to job and changes addresses frequently is not a stable individual. A leader wants to establish strong roots in the community and profession that can be used as a stable foundation to pursue a career.
If a young person makes several lateral career moves in their young career, then he is not sure what he wants and is going to spend a lot of time trying to determine his role in the corporate world. A young person who has made moves to develop a career knows where he or she is headed and has the stability necessary to be a strong leader.
Ability to take direction
A young leader knows how to take direction from more experienced people and turn that direction into important career learning lessons.
Young people who are unable to listen to authority as they are developing their skills will not turn into the future leaders of your company that you were hoping for.
Jan Kantor is a Southwest Florida business consultant and executive coach. For more information, or to contact him regarding workplace solutions, his website is www.jankantor.com.