Picking people who will make good leaders is hard. If you’re looking at a group of individual contributors and trying to figure out which ones will make great leaders, here are some things to look for.
Look for hard work. You want the leader to set a good example.
Look for energy. The speed of the leader is the speed of the team.
Look for willingness to decide. In most groups, the boss is the default decider.
Look for people who don’t confuse giving orders with leading.
Look for people who communicate well and check for understanding.
Look for people who don’t have to win every argument.
Look for people who understand that results matter.
Look for people who understand that developing people is part of the job.
Look for people who are willing to confront others about poor performance or unhelpful behavior.
Look for people that others respect. Not much gets done without respect.
Look for people secure enough to say “thank you” and “I’m sorry.”
Look for people who love to help others succeed. After all, that’s the leader’s job in a nutshell.
That’s my list. What have I missed?