Evaluating Leadership Talent


Evaluating Leadership Talent - 1From the C-Suite to the first level supervisor, all leaders supervise someone. That is, all leaders are called upon to perform some sort of oversight function. And, in so doing, they need to ensure that their subordinates have the right resources, the opportunities, the capabilities, and the support necessary to have a fighting chance to do a good job.

But how do you measure whether someone is an effective leader when it comes to supervising others? Here are five supervisory skills you can use:

Ability to Analyze Strengths and Weaknesses: Have you had a situation where the leader was faced with a challenge and you were able to observe them close up? What about assigning tasks to subordinates? Consider how effective the leader was in these instances.

Effectiveness at Identifying and Providing Leadership Development for Their Team: Whether the job is highly technical or not, there will most likely be instances where all employees need some training. So consider whether the leader gives everyone an opportunity to participate in training.  Do they just offer training to the chosen few, the high-potentials, or do they offer training opportunities to all who are wanting to learn and grow?

Opportunities to Exercise and Enhance Skills: It is one thing to provide training. It is quite another to create opportunities for employees to apply what they have learned. That is what development is all about. What about allowing employees to try out new tasks or maybe even train others? These are all areas for consideration.

Evaluating Leadership Talent - 2Identifying and Setting Reasonable Goals: Do employees know what they are expected to do and when? Are employee performance goals linked to organizational performance goals? Are the goals reasonable and achievable? These are just three quick questions that can provide insight about the leader’s ability to manage priorities and achieve results.

Leaders Must Possess Interpersonal Skills: Leadership is not just about telling others to do a good job. It is about having the ability to work with, communicate with, and work shoulder to shoulder with their team. They will face challenges. Someone will bring a heart ache into work from home. How will you handle that as their leader?

So the next time you have to evaluate the skills and potential of a leader (or critique your own performance), you may want to do so in light of these skills. Are there other skills that make a good leader? Absolutely. But these will give us something to think about today.

  • What do you think of the list?
  • What would you add to the list?

Are you brave enough to share some example or anecdote from your own experience?

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Photo credit: erkuthanci / Foter / (CC BY 2.0)
Photo credit: the past tends to disappear / Foter / (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

3 Replies to “Evaluating Leadership Talent”

  1. As much as I agree with this, I have to wonder. To be a leader do actually have to have followers? or subordinates in this case? I mean aside from our families, who are we leading? I recently took some online training and my position classification was executive management with out employees. So I have been thinking alot about who my leadership is actually effecting. In this case I think leadership may be a little like character. You know, doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. Or doing something for someone that could never repay you.

    1. I think that one must have followers to be a leader. (At least to be a credible leader you must have at least one!) Having said that, I think you are questioning it and the words of John Maxwell are apropos. He defines leadership as having “influence”. That is clearly what you have in abundance at your job. You also have a great deal of “leverage” as determined by the value of the work that you bring in.

      Having said all of that, I think that there is also a character component as you have stated.

      Great thoughts and great comment!

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