When developing emerging leaders, look for signs of excellence and good values
Outstanding leadership begins with a spirit of excellence developed at home. Good family life is where the values of exceptional leadership are instilled.
- The intangibles of love, respect, honesty, integrity, and empathy are not techniques but values.
- Excellence is the driving force behind influencing others throughout life.
- If you pursue excellence, you’ll be taking good care of yourself and those who live with you and work with you.
Such high standards may seem unimportant to those with double or no standards, but they are solid foundations for emerging leaders.
Begin with Yourself
Marc A. Pitman says, “Take time for yourself to find out who you are at the core. Knowing who you are apart from a group will make you even more effective in front of a group.”
Is the pursuit of excellence a priority in your life? What you value is what those you mentor will emulate.
Peter Drucker says, “Cultivate a deep understanding of yourself – not only what your strengths and weaknesses are but also
- How you learn,
- How you work with others,
- What your values are,
- Where you can make the greatest contribution.
Because only when you operate from strengths can you achieve true excellence.”
Your “influence timer” begins ticking the moment you enter your new mentoring relationship; at that point, you are on borrowed time until your level of influence is established.
Genuine leadership comes from influence alone; we cannot take it or demand it; we must earn it. The legitimacy of our leadership is decided by the people we’re leading.
Looking for Emerging Leaders
Whenever good leaders come up through the ranks, their reputation precedes them, and their followers attest to their gifting and level of influence.
Emerging leaders have a proven track record of ascending the levels of leadership.
- Establishing priorities, demonstrating self-discipline, making their position respectable. – Level One
- Developing relationships, connecting with people, and valuing those around them. – Level Two
- Known to be motivating and productive, influential, and credible. – Level Three
- In time these emerging leaders will challenge their team members to reach higher levels of potential, thus, establishing mentoring relationships. – Level Four
Our measure of influence determines our buy-in and our capacity for mobilizing others.
John Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less,” and, “No matter who you are, no matter where you serve if you have influence with people, you can lead.” Being influential, emerging leaders will excel in the following four areas.
1. Being a Person of Character
Good leadership begins within. More than anything, a leader’s character will influence an organization’s culture. The leader’s character will either raise or lower the lid on employee potential.
2. Being Relational
Relationships build trust and garner loyalty; this is a sure sign of influence.
- Examine the quality of the leader’s relationships.
- What type of people do they attract?
- Who is within their sphere of influence?
3. Being Intuitive
Emerging leaders will have a strong sense of intuition. It’s a necessary trait to look for since we are most intuitive in our areas of giftedness.
- Do they ask good follow-up questions?
- How do they validate what they’re sensing?
- Do they confide in trustworthy people?
- Who do they involve in their decision-making process?
4. Pursuing Excellence
Leaders pursuing excellence establish high personal standards for themselves, their commitment to excellence is greater than the externals that would otherwise derail their objectives or tempt them to compromise their pursuits.
- Their standards are typically higher than those around them
- They go the extra mile doing more than is required
- They consistently accept nothing less than exceeding expectations
In Conclusion, Leadership is an art form, learning to trust emerging leaders with a limited platform to monitor their influence. Sometimes the best emerging leaders aren’t those holding high degrees but the ones providing much of your staff with valuable input.