Spotting a Leader

Looking for a new leader? I recently read an article talking about the difference between the skill of performance and the skill of leading the performance, two entirely different skills. The most gifted athletes aren’t always the best coaches and the best violinist isn’t always the best conductor. Nor will the best teacher necessarily make the best head of the department. So how do you determine whether a person is capable of learning how to lead? Here are some ideas:

1. Have they exhibited leadership skills in their past?

2. Do they have the capacity to create or catch vision?

3. Are they locked into the status quo or do they believe there is always a better way to do something?

4. Are they willing to take responsibility and have a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude?

5. Do they have the ability to finish the job and get things done?

6. Do they have mental toughness in order to handle the criticism and discouragement that will come?

  1. Do others respect them as a potential leader?
  2. 8. Do others listen when they speak?

Natural leaders will stand out. But it is important to identify those who are capable of learning leadership over time. Vince Lombardi once said, “Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.”

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