The term “emerging leader” has been thrown around frequently in recent years, and it can mean a variety of different things.
Exactly what a quality emerging leader will look like in any given scenario may not be completely the same as what you’d find in other companies, and they may be discovered through different avenues.
5 Emerging Leader Qualities
There is no one way a leader may develop, but there are a number of qualities that all successful leaders possess. These are qualities that make others respect them and want to work with them while also making them competent workers in their own right.
Five of these qualities include:
- The ability to collaborate with others
- Self-assured confidence
- Consistent and constant learning and self-improvement
- A propensity for fostering growth in others
- A strong capacity for clear communication
Learn about emerging leader qualities and how they appear by reading in more detail below.
First of all, one of the main ways you can recognize a successful emerging leader is through the way they collaborate with other people.
In group settings, emerging leaders are often found sharing insights and improving the discussion. Their contributions provide real value to problem-solving and development processes, so it is far more than simply being outspoken.
At the same time, they are not overbearing. Just as willing to share ideas, emerging leaders are open to input from others. Their interest is in creating a meaningful discussion that can achieve positive results. In this way, they don’t so much dominate the conversation as much as facilitate it. Communication goes two ways and is highly effective.
Another key quality of emerging leaders is calm self-assuredness. They are confident in who they are, what they value, and what they are capable of doing. They know what they believe, and they can articulate it clearly and directly.
This self-confidence enables emerging leaders to take action and implement plans that benefit their peers as well as the company. They are flexible enough to accommodate the ebbs and flows of normal business operations, but also know when to take risks. Others view them as trustworthy, and they’re a great asset to their organization.
Those who work with self-assured individuals are comfortable trusting them with important decisions, and as a result, people naturally look toward them for direction.
3. Constantly Learning
Although they are confident in their abilities, an emerging leader still strives to improve themselves. They are constantly seeking new and better ways of doing things, and this is often reflected in the results of their work. Productivity and quality tend to increase as they carry out assignments or delegate them to others.
This learning extends into all realms of their work, including social interactions, business-related tasks, tedious daily work and so forth. Emerging leaders excel at finding ways to do things better or more efficiently. In a leadership role, everything under their stewardship will likely advance over time.
This ability to learn stems from a combination of teachability (they don’t act like they know it all) and passion for their work. They are committed to doing things the best way they know how, and willing to acknowledge that they may not necessarily know the best way at the present moment.
4. Agent of Growth
As emerging leaders improve, they act as agents of growth among others. As they lead people, they help them develop similar leadership qualities. Never elevating themselves at the expense of others, emerging leaders use their position to benefit those over whom they have stewardship.
This quality is absolutely vital to success in leadership since leaders ultimately work with people.
In the end, all else is secondary—if you have people working in a good environment where they are motivated to do their best, then the business as a whole experiences success. Effective leaders build other leaders within an organization, allowing it to continue growing.
As such, an emerging leader naturally builds others up. Not only do they grow, but those around them will too.
5. Competent Communicator
Effective communication is key to strong leadership, so an emerging leader will typically show strong communication skills. They can express ideas clearly and succinctly, make themselves understood, and know when more explanation is necessary.
Self-expression is only half of competent communication. Skillful listening is vital since it allows a leader to detect misunderstandings, hear others’ opinions and ideas, and facilitate group conversations. Emerging leaders are able to speak and be understood while understanding others.
Finding and Developing Emerging Leaders
An emerging leader with high potential shows at least a few of these qualities. With some guidance and training, they’ll develop into highly successful leaders who are a valuable asset to their organization.
Placing people in group settings and watching the way they interact with others (and vice versa) allows managers to find high-potential individuals. From there, mentoring, the introduction of new responsibilities, and formal training are a critical part of preparing them for leadership opportunities in the future.
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