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Are You a Leader With High Potential? You Are if You Answer ‘Yes’ to These 6 Questions

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There may be nothing more important to an organization than spotting and nourishing high-potential leaders–the ripple effect on an organization of having such leaders in place is irrefutable.

But how do you know if you’re one of those high-potential leaders?

I spent 25 years at leadership development powerhouse Procter & Gamble, known for being the company that produces more CEOs (by a long shot) than any other company. P&G has its own view of what constitutes the highest-potential leaders, so I blend that knowledge with my own experience being on the front lines of leadership at P&G and from leading recruiting teams to identify top talent.

So consider what follows a checklist to help you see where you stand or to know what to look for when hiring or seeking to promote future leaders. How many of these garner an emphatic “Yes”?

1. “I’m quick to learn, quicker to adapt.”

There’s a definite correlation between those who learn the fastest and those hungry to learn fast. Yes, having a solid microprocessor upstairs helps, but anyone can bring a desire to learn to the table.

From there, it’s the energy for and ability to pay attention to your surroundings, your competition, your boss, and your co-workers, and to pick up on cues of what to do and what to act on. It also means learning quickly from your mistakes and not repeating them.

Along with learning comes adapting. The highest-potential leaders can turn on a dime when faced with new data or changing circumstances.

2. “I’m wired for winning, intent on improving.”

Meaning, if you aren’t winning, it almost hurts. You have a visible passion to beat competitors and crush goals that rubs off on everyone around you (without rubbing them the wrong way).

At the same time, you realize winning isn’t static, it requires you doing your part to keep improving. Of all the traits that stuck out to me in interviews with high-potential candidates, the continual improvement mentality was among the most telling. It’s almost a precursor for high-potential leaders; how can you be high-potential if you’re not hungry to maximize your own potential?

3. “I’m a boss at influencing the boss.”

The ability to lead the boss’s thinking–and any stakeholder’s for that matter–is a key hallmark of rising star leaders. And the very best don’t use their position’s power or politics to effectively and efficiently influence those around them. They understand when to use data versus gut, and when to employ EQ to get emotions working to their favor (without being manipulative).  

4. “I have a powerful personal presence.”

Read full article By Scott MautzKeynote speaker and author, ‘Find the Fire’ and ‘Make It Matter’@scott_mautz here @ Inc.com

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