3 Character Traits Every Potential Leader Must Have

3 min read
Sep 1, 2015

3 Character Traits Every Potential Leader Must Have by TINYpulseSo you’ve decided to create a leadership pipeline. When it comes to developing leaders, your best bet is probably going to be all those fresh-faced, recently hired millennials. Just check out these findings from Deloitte and Oracle:

  • 53% of millennials aspire to become the leader or most senior executive within their current organization Tweet: 53% of #millennials aspire to become the leader within their current organization http://bit.ly/1V84Tmn via @TINYpulse
  • One of the key advantages of developing leaders internally is that they achieve productivity almost 50% faster than external candidates Tweet: Advantage of developing leaders internally=achieve productivity 50% faster than external candidates http://bit.ly/1V84Tmn via @TINYpulse

There has to be a leader among your millennial workforce, right? But first, you can’t just give every employee leadership training and hope for the best. So if you’re serious about finding and cultivating high-quality talent, you’ll need to separate the leaders from the followers.

To give you a general idea of what you’ll need, we broke down part of the SHL Universal Competency Framework. The SHL Framework is actually a bit longer than these three characteristics, but we elected to show you only the most critical ones.


If an employee has a hard time taking initiative or taking responsibility for their actions, don’t bother considering them for leadership training. A leader needs to be able to take charge of a situation and be willing to deal with the repercussions of a poor choice.

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Supporting and Cooperating

When it comes to leading a team, there’s a delicate balance that has to be respected. If a leader’s too rough with their team, they become unrelatable, and their team begins to fear and resent them. If a leader doesn’t push his team enough, they risk being seen as a pushover and squandering their team’s potential.

A leader needs to know when to take charge. But a leader also needs to know when to put his team first. Candidates for leadership training need to be respectful team players. If a potential leader just can’t seem to get along with the rest of the team, they probably won’t be capable of leading them anytime soon.  

Interacting and Presenting

Leaders have vision. They’re optimistic, confident, and passionate about what they do. The best leaders in the world have an unwavering belief in their vision, regardless of whether everyone else sees it.

But here’s what you need to keep in mind: you don’t hire leaders because they can see the light at the end of the tunnel. You hire them so that their team can see that light at the end of the tunnel too.

A leader must be able to communicate that positivity to the rest of their team and excite them about their projects. If your leadership training candidate can’t seem to influence others or communicate efficiently, they don’t belong anywhere near your leadership pipeline.

Identifying these characteristics is more than just some neat tool that your company can use. Take the time to find an employee that takes initiative, has empathy, and sees the bigger picture. If you’re looking to build a healthy leadership pipeline, your company's future depends on investing in the right people.



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