Finding Today’s Leaders

Back to Leadership & Management

Today's fast-paced work environments require employees who are willing and able to lead.  In a changing world of downsizing, leaner budgets and asking employees to do more with less, it has become increasingly important for all personnel from executives to entry-level employees to exhibit leadership abilities.

How should you go about hiring employees who have the leadership abilities necessary to guide your organization?  It is important when hiring to look to the future.  Hire leaders who not only succeed in a current position, but those who have the potential to succeed in the next position and the next.

In the past, leaders tended to be power-oriented and dominant.  Today's successful leaders are motivators with the potential to influence and inspire employees to work toward achieving the goals and visions of the organization.  Why?  Because today's dynamic employees want to be catalysts in their organizations, not just workers who follow directives and complete assignments.

Motivating this new generation is not more difficult; it just needs to be done differently.  When attempting to select leaders for your organization, try some of the following ideas:

  • Attempt to determine the amount of leadership ability the candidate already has.  Effective leaders are catalysts for change.  They have a passion to make a difference.  Ask your candidate to describe a situation when he or she made a difference.Supervisory Update
  • Good leaders know how to make decisions.  Hire people who are good decision-makers, who can make budgetary decisions, creative decisions, visionary decisions and crisis decisions.

To increase the possibility of selecting an individual with strong leadership potential, ask the candidate to describe situations in which he or she did the following:

  • displayed a willingness to accept responsibility
  • inspired others to accept additional responsibility
  • encouraged others to accomplish a challenging goal
  • changed the negative attitude of another worker to positive
  • faced a difficult decision or leadership challenge

Too often, employers hire the person who shows the ability to do the tasks that the job requires.  Look beyond that level.  Make the effort to find the employee who has the leadership qualities and personal values needed to be a leader for your organization.