The criteria for leaders has dramatically changed as business environments rapidly evolve. Traditional leadership meant putting process before people and perfectionism was the standard for success. Today, modern business involves possessing a strategic vision to promote innovation and seek creative solutions to problems. There’s now more emphasis on what you can contribute to the company’s long-term goals than what you can bring to the table today.

What organizations are looking for are high-potential (HiPo) leaders who demonstrate aspiration and ability to engage employees and earn their commitment. The high-potential leader takes control of their growth by breaking conventions and making opportunities happen rather than waiting for them to come knocking at their door.

What does it take to be HiPo? Here are essential skills that every high-potential leader must master:  

1. Raise the Return on Your Time

HiPos have recognized that the key to time management is to effectively delegate tasks so that they can focus on their value-added work. Recognize that your time is valuable. It starts with being comfortable enough to let go off the reins and identifying the strengths of your team. However, your work isn’t done once you’ve handed tasks over; it’s still your job to ensure your people are equipped with the right skills and resources to execute the job. Assigning responsibilities does not mean relieving yourself of accountability.

2. Power Up by Multiplying Energies and Skills Around You

Your success relies on how well your people perform the tasks you’ve delegated. As a high-potential leader, it’s crucial that you identify potential in others and help them develop. It starts by recognizing their natural talents, observing their decision-making skills and how well they collaborate with their colleagues. By cross-checking your observations with others, you gain a better understanding of their capability and how you can take their strengths and help build on them.

3. Execute Your Big Ideas

HiPos don’t just come up with brilliant ideas, but they also act on them. They also know that the best way to refine their ideas is to put them out there where others can provide their input so that it can developed into an actionable plan. High potential leaders aren’t afraid to throw out bad ideas in the hopes that out of it, better ideas will be realized. The goal is to create a dialogue where the exchange of creativity results in a plan to bring the concept to fruition.

4. Know Your Customers, Colleagues, and Competitors

High potential leaders look beyond their immediate environment. They know their clients, their people, and their rivals. Rather than wait and be disrupted by change, anticipate it. Leadership isn’t just defined by how well you adapt; the high-potential leader sees change coming and is prepared to meet it. Be proactive to learn about market trends and any technological advancements looming over the horizon that is relevant to your industry. Recognize how company cultures have evolved and if new methodologies have potential to bring positive change in your own organization.

5. Build Mental Capacity

HiPos are constantly learning, expanding their networks, and seeking other perspectives. To improve your mental flexibility, widen the lens on how you see the world so that you can broaden your vision. Don’t be afraid to be exposed for not knowing all the answers as long as the journey leads to discovery and ultimately, the ability to connect vision with execution.

Are you ready to supercharge your leadership skills? For over 30 years, we have been improving leadership and management skills and transforming high-potential leaders. If you want to guidance on the complicated leadership road, connect with us. We’d love to chat about your leadership development goals: greg@inscapeconsulting.com

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