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When you look at your current team, do you see one or two people that stand out? These are your leaders and future managers in the making. But how can you recognise the individuals who possess the characteristics and attributes to succeed at a senior level? How do you ascertain which ones will be amenable to future training to broaden their career options?

Here are three ways you can recognise emerging leaders within your firm.

1. Focus on the high achievers

Emerging leaders tend to be high-achievers. They go above and beyond what is necessary to fulfil their role. They have a warm approach to their team members and their work is always of a consistently high quality. More so, they are business savvy, have a good understanding of the firm and a genuine desire to keep up with the latest news and trends at all times.

You may also notice they have a proven track record of getting results. They are personally driven and comfortable with abstract thought processes. You will also find that emerging leaders want to be successful and see others succeed alongside their own efforts.

2. Keep an eye on the extroverts

Previous experience will show that emerging leaders are generally extroverts, although studies have shown that female emerging leaders are not as vocal as their male counterparts. Emerging leaders are known for their strong communication abilities and persuasion techniques. They can motivate others with ease, be the ones who initiate new ideas and often have a slight risk-taking edge to their personality. This is a helpful skill to incubate, particularly when businesses undergo change and remodelling. However, don’t be surprised if emerging leaders show resistance to change opting for more proven methods of success.

3. Track the team players

Sometimes team players can be overlooked, but a great leader must be able to work effectively with and alongside, their team. Emerging leaders don’t necessarily need to be liked, but they often are. They are also respected by their peers and partners and can seek input from others when necessary.

Allowing them to mentor junior level employees will help develop their leadership skills for the future. Giving them the opportunity to lead will allow them to shine and the wellbeing of their peers is always high on their priority list.

How to develop your emerging leaders

Emerging leaders will most certainly crave and benefit from ongoing development. This could take the form of a senior mentor and/or leadership development program.

Mentor your emerging leaders

If a mentoring program is put in place, mentoring sessions should take place through regular meetings and look at targeting the specific skills necessary to tackle future leadership roles within the firm. Mentoring is a skill, so it should not be assumed that anyone can be a quality mentor. Mentors should be suitably matched to the development needs of the emerging leader. In order to create a successful mentoring relationship, the expectations, format, duration and success measures of the relationship need to be articulated upfront. It is essential that mentoring conversations remain confidential and free of any possible conflicts of interest. For this reason, mentors external to your firm can also be worth considering.

Develop using hands on training

Hands on training should form a significant part of the development plan for emerging leaders. Involvement in challenging assignments or cases is a great way to build their talents and exposure within the firm. Many emerging leaders are aspirational and motivated by challenge, so set them stretch projects where they can develop new skills, innovate and add value to the firm.

Create a structured development program

Retaining critical employees is essential to your firms ongoing success. The best way to achieve this is to keep emerging leaders stimulated, challenged and growing. If your firm is not focused on developing and retaining emerging leaders, then it is time to make a change. A leadership talent management strategy should consist of a blended program which includes mentoring, coaching and workshops to develop competence and confidence in leadership, executive presence, courageous conversations, peak performance and more. The result — you can sit back and watch your emerging leaders blossom into the role before your very eyes.

If your firm needs support developing a mentoring, coaching and a leadership program to build and develop your leadership pipeline, then I’d love to hear from you.  Athena Leadership Academy thrives on tailoring programs to transform organisations, one leader at a time.  To find out more and to start a conversation, then get in touch.


Linda Murray - Executive Coach, Athena Leadership Academy
Linda Murray
Founder& Executive Coach at Athena Leadership Academy
Linda Murray is the Founder, Facilitator, Speaker and Executive Coach at Athena Leadership Academy; the professional development hub for high performing and high potential leaders. Linda ensures that your leaders and your teams are engaged, motivated and empowered to achieve the best results for your business. Linda has run her own successful businesses since age 22, so understands what it takes to maximise the performance of yourself and those around you. Linda was the winner of the Best Graduate Development Program at the 2019 Australian HR Awards.

Need some additional help learning how to use your leadership skills to bring out the best in you and your team? Get in touch today to learn how our Executive Coaching and Leadership Development programs can help you break down the mental blocks and barriers holding you and your team back from achieving your best performance yet.

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