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The Underestimated Importance of Identifying Potential Leaders in an Organization

October 12, 2022
By: Patrick Bosworth in the Great Leaders category.

Leadership is an important quality in any environment, but it is not only found in those who are currently managers or executives. According to the Harvard Business Review, the best leaders are those who can identify potential future leaders among their employees, and then help them hone the skills involved. The ability to inspire others to achieve common goals is essential for any business or group to be successful. Here are eight reasons why assessing leadership potential is important.

Ensures Strong Leadership for the Future

Organizations need strong leaders to guide them in today’s ever-changing business landscape. Capable leaders can inspire and motivate others to achieve common goals and help create a positive and productive work environment, and when leaders who are currently serving step down it is imperative that equally qualified individuals are ready to take their place.

Develops a Diverse Pool of Leaders

Organizations that identify potential leaders from many employees are more likely to have a leadership team that reflects the diversity of their workforce. A diverse leadership team can bring different perspectives and ideas to the table, which can help an organization be more innovative and successful. Similarly, a well-rounded leadership team can help an organization better relate to and understand the needs of its potentially varied customer base.

Helps Retain Top Talent

Organizations that identify and develop potential leaders within their ranks are more likely to retain top talent, because the best employees will have the opportunity to grow and develop, and will also be more likely to be engaged and motivated to do their best work.

It’s important to remember that not every employee will want a leadership role. It’s best to retain various types of employees within an organization, each with its own strengths and specializations.

Improves Decision-making

With a wide array of potential leaders to draw from, organizations are more likely to make sound decisions that align with their values. This is because potential leaders are typically well-informed and can think critically about complex issues.

Likewise, potential leaders can often already see both sides of an issue and consider all possible outcomes before making decisions. This ensures that organizations avoid costly mistakes and achieve their desired results.

Improves Employee Engagement and Morale

When employees see opportunities for growth within an organization, they are more likely to feel engaged and motivated in their work. Those who have already been recognized as top employees will foster a more productive work environment, which can positively impact an organization’s profits.

Facilitates Knowledge Transfer

Potential leaders who are developed within an organization are more likely to deeply understand the organization’s culture and goals. They are also more likely to be familiar with the company’s history and operations. This knowledge is invaluable and can help potential leaders hit the ground running when they step into leadership roles.

Encourages Innovation

Organizations that identify and develop potential leaders are more likely to innovate. Potential leaders are often creative thinkers who are not afraid to challenge the status quo and propose new ideas. Besides, potential leaders typically have a strong vision for the future.

Helps Create a Succession Plan

Succession planning is a process that organizations use to identify and develop employees who have the potential to fill key leadership roles when they become vacant. Succession planning can also help organizations avoid the costly and disruptive process of recruiting and training new leaders outside the organization.

The Bottom Line

Not everyone is cut out to be a leader, but that doesn’t mean leadership capabilities can’t be developed. Leadership is a skill that can be learned and perfected over time. Identifying the up-and-coming talent within an organization is the first step. Doing this will not only improve the overall quality of a workforce, but it will also set the organization up for success in the long haul.

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