A company’s ability to succeed long-term largely depends on the business leaders. That’s why choosing your future leader holds such importance.

Identifying your future leaders early on is imperative, as this gives you the chance to offer them workplace training to nurture their skills and create a loyal employee.

The total cost of retaining and developing your current workforce is a lot cheaper than hiring from the outside, which is why it’s best to identify a leader within your current team. Creating workplace leadership development programs is a great way to identify your high achievers.

However, we understand it can be difficult to spot future leaders, so we decided to comprise a list of what you should be looking out for…

Think of their potential

It’s often easy for organisations to promote people based on their proficiency, but avoid looking into their workplace leadership potential.

Although it is crucial for an employee to work to high standards when looking for a leader, they also need to have a variety of skills… but most importantly copious amounts of potential!

Some individuals are not cut out to be leaders, although their performance is at the higher end of the scale. They don’t have the capacity for leadership roles and are content to be ‘followers’.

This is why potential should outweigh performance as workplace training can offer those with workplace leadership tendencies the opportunity to learn the skills of the job.

Are they a catalyst?

Something to identify within your employees is whether they have a head-on approach to work and look for solutions as opposed to making excuses. When the workplace encounters a problem, look for the person who is looking for a result and organising the plan of action with optimism.

The people that make things happen and who make logical decisions, whilst others watch, are those who can become part of the workplace leadership. It’s more than just thinking of an idea, it’s about implementing the plan to come to an efficient outcome, and having the confidence to discuss ideas with the team and getting them involved.


When looking for potential leaders, it’s good to analyse whether the person is invested in the company’s goals and driven to achieve success for company growth. Identify whether they are showing interest in work and offering suggestions.

Anyone aiming to be in a high position and feel comfortable doing so will offer their opinions and will truly be interested in the company’s success.

Do they hold themselves accountable?

A leader should be able to hold themselves accountable for any failure incurred. Although no business ever wants to encounter a mistake; it is unrealistic. This is why it is important that your leaders can take responsibility for any oversights.

If you see individuals hiding away from their actions as they are in fear of being viewed negatively, they may not be ready to be part of the workplace leadership team.

Moreover, when someone is able to take liability and admit they made an error, they are showing a willingness to learn from the mistake. Leaders need to be adaptable and willing to invest in their learning by taking on workplace training.

Not only does this show that they want feedback but also shows that they are not afraid, and are willing to take risks.

Watch how they work

If you think you have identified a potential leader it’s good to keep an eye on how they work in general projects. For example, give them extra responsibility and see how they cope with it as it is essential that leaders can multitask.

A natural leader will identify the task that requires the most on-going attention whilst addressing the causes of any problems and put an end to them effectively. This can take someone a little trial and error, which is why long-term observation with this technique is best.

It’s about identifying someone who is able to prioritise tasks and try new things which they believe will benefit the company.

It’s important to find someone who is willing to put in the extra time to seek the best for your business. Through ongoing workplace training, the candidate can identify strategic styles of working and organising a team.

Emotional intelligence

Having emotional intelligence is a key personality factor that all leaders should obtain. This involves skills such as being a good team player, putting others before themselves, interacting with employees and not only with those on their level but in lower positions and putting importance on building relationships with other staff members.

Identifying these aspects means that the person is selfless and can acquire a deep understanding of employees. Through leaders being able to empathise and relate to other workers, they are able to persuade others toward a common goal.

On the other hand, it’s important that leaders are competitive, but with emotional intelligence, they can put this part of their personality in moderation.

Someone who is able to use their competitive streak in small doses combined with being a good leader means they can channel realistic objectives without pushing staff below them. It’s integral to your success that the company leaders are mentoring staff as well as being a role model.

Communication skills

Communication skills are extremely important for a leader to attain. This is not only about building bonds with employees but is about the way they communicate their points. Corresponding in a manner which is effortless and being able to explain ideas clearly and concisely means people will take note of them as they have a confident presence.

Also, although you want a leader that will command a room and get people listening, on the flip side it’s just as important that the leader can listen to others.

If your leader is able to listen to others not only will they retain points made by them but they will also be able to spot future leaders.

A natural ability to communicate with others in an effective way is how leaders got to those positions. Identifying this skill is a must for the candidate as they have the power to achieve immediate respect.