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8 Qualities You Must Instill in Your Leaders-in-Making/ High Potential Employees

8 Qualities You Must Instill in Your Leaders-in-Making/ High Potential Employees

Monday May 13, 2019,

5 min Read

High potentials consistently and significantly outperform their peer groups in a variety of settings and circumstances. Moreover, they show a strong capacity to grow and succeed throughout their careers within an organization—more quickly and effectively than their peer groups do.” – Harvard Business Review

Even if your team is made of talented individuals, a few employees will always stand out from the rest of the pack. HIPOs excel in their roles and possess the specific skills and knowledge required to thrive in managerial positions and senior roles in an organization. Some are blessed with innate skills sets while others need motivation necessary to take the organization to the next level. We have made a list of 8 qualities you should instill in HIPOs or leaders-in-making.

Effective communication

“The nation will find it very hard to look up to the leaders who are keeping their ears to the ground.” – Winston Churchill

Effective communication not only entails speaking but also listening. Communication is a vital interpersonal skill that helps HIPOs to interact with the right people to meet goals collectively rather than exposing individual brilliance.


What is the most distinctive quality of HIPOs? Of course, the quality of being outstanding in their personality to garner the desired respect. The potential leaders of your organization should have distinguished principles, views and actions so that they can execute plans with dexterity. Thereby, ensure that you hone formidability in your HIPOs in order to make them self-consciousness of being professional. This skill will enable them to carry out their daily task and earn confidence from the people they lead.

Emotional intelligence

Even technically brilliant individuals may have trouble in managing others and collaborating on a team. It is not because they lack technical skills, intelligence or leadership qualities. But, it is because they lack a critical level of emotional intelligence – the ability to manage their own emotions and others’ under pressure. Inculcate emotional intelligence in your HIPOs. In fact, provide professional help to your skilled leaders to let them learn practical strategies to respond more appropriately as pressure, tension and complexity increase.

Appreciative Leadership

Leadership practices are shifting from authoritarian to collaborative and from fear-based to strength-based. As appreciative leadership is the newest buzzword, and all across the world, organizations are inculcating this quality in their high potential employees. Appreciative leadership is the relational capacity to mobilize creative potential and turn it into positive power – to make a positive difference in the organization. This skill enables potential leaders to lead with positively powerful questions, bring out the best in people and situations, and bring a positive difference and engage with people to co-create the future. Appreciative leadership focusses on potential rather than problems and enable HIPOs to get the best out of their team members.


Working in synergy is another great quality of HIPOs. To work efficiently with a team, HIPOs make the team plan and work together to achieve joint success. Foster teamwork spirits in your leaders-in-making so that they can bring unity and strengthen the bonds with their team.

Strong decision-making ability

Your high potential employees will face many situations in the future where they need to make the right decision in fast-paced environments. So, when you take them under your wing, support their development and motivate them to work on their decision-making ability.


One of the strongest skills of leaders is delegating task to staff members based on their skill set. HIPOs employees often struggle to get everything done on time. When they are ready for managerial positions, they will need to allocate tasks based on employee’s strength and weaknesses. Thereby, nurture some skills that make your HIPOs a good delegator.

360-degree feedback

Your future leaders will be working with a team, and one of their critical tasks include delivering useful feedback to team members regarding their performance. A poorly feedback session can cast a negative impact on the team’s performance. Feedback is a valuable tool that helps individuals to move forward and work smarter. Cultivate 360-degree feedback in your leaders that provide them with the right skills for meaningful conversations with the team members.


Someone has truly said – “True leaders always practice the three R’s: Respect for self, Respect for others, and responsibility for all their actions.” HIPOs not only practice the same approach, but also make every team member accountable for what they are doing. Promote accountability in your leader-in-making so that they can create a sense of responsibility among their subordinates, make them realize their mistakes and give a pat on the back when their team makes efforts.

Though high potential employees in your organization may comprise typically 5-8 percent of the total workforce, their high productivity sets them apart. If their skills and competencies are enhanced appropriately, they prove to be the next great leaders and an asset your company.