All men are leaders. Most are leaders to others, few, to themselves. As an employer, it pays to identify true leaders among your existing employees who can help you realise your vision. Fortunately for you, there are a few traits that make them stand out from the crowd. Here are three real ways in which you can spot a true leader right in your midst:
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A true leaders desires and encourages growth
Writing for Fast Company, serial entrepreneur Andrew Cravenho says, “Look beyond performance. What you also need to look for is the employee’s aptitude, desire to grow, and overall potential.”
When you look beyond performance you look at an individual’s true character. A performance can be influenced by a variety of factors like acquired skill, ability to conform, need to impress a superior, etc. But true character is beyond such needs. An indecisive individual can be a great financial analyst, but beyond numbers, he or she is plagued with confusion. A leader, on the other hand, is curious and devoid of thoughts like ‘What will others say if I ask questions?’ A person who asks the right questions in the midst of an assembly allows right answers to come to everyone.
So when you are scouting for a leader, know what you are looking for beyond the veil of performance. Is it cowardice or courage? If it’s courage, rest assured, you’ll find one.
A true leader does the right thing
Rather than being motivated by wealth, power, fame, approval, or status, true leaders are intrinsically motivated and possess enough humility to always do the right thing.
A person is truly a leader when he or she is governed by what is right rather than what is perceived to be right. A true leader knows that there can only be one right and everything else will be a mild or grave version of a lie. Driven by the light of this knowledge, they will stand up rather than sit down when faced with crisis. If you spot someone among your employees who calls a spade a spade, know that you’ve found yourself a leader.
A true leader is confident, not arrogant
True leaders possess enormous self-confidence, yet they do so without being unrealistic or arrogant. Confidence is a result of possessing right knowledge and truthful emotions. Arrogance is born out of misleading information and the subsequent reaction to that information. A confident individual accepts it when he or she makes a mistake. An arrogant person fights to the death to deny such a charge. A confident person never ceases to be a student of true knowledge. An arrogant person ceases to be a student at some point. A confident person is like field of sunflowers in blossom. An arrogant person is a graveyard of ashen leaves. The key to know a confident individual from an arrogant one is the former’s willingness to share knowledge and in the latter’s to withhold it. If you find among your employees, an individual who is indulges in sharing useful information with people, know that you’ve found yourself a leader.
All men are born free. And leadership is born out of true freedom. One cannot be chained to this or that, or have hidden agendas, if one aspires to let their leadership qualities shine through their intent and action. A true leader starts with putting himself or herself on the right path first and then takes on the responsibility of guiding others towards the light too.