Berger Leadership Blog

5 signs of a leader

B. Dan BergerPart of being a leader is helping the next generation prepare to transition into management roles. Within your organization, that starts with hiring the right people and then providing them with opportunities to grow both personally and professionally.

As your company faces changes and challenges, who are the employees that will step up and support your leadership to get through them? Marcel Schwantes, principal and founder of Leadership From the Core, shares five signs you can look for when identifying leadership potential.

  1. Self-control: Leaders must make tough decisions and handle uncomfortable situations all the time. In these moments, it's critical to be measured, reasonable and patient, not only for the success of your company but also to maintain the trust of other employees. Look for those who can respond well to conflict.
  2. Others come before self: Those who care only about doing well for themselves can be toxic in office culture. Your organization should work cohesively as a team – each department and employee making their contribution to achieve your ultimate goals. Teammates have each other's backs and are willing to put in extra work to help someone in need.
  3. Know right from wrong: Organizational culture features principles and values by which employees conduct business. Presidents and CEOs must lead by example, and practicing servant leadership is a great way to do that. By demonstrating traits like integrity and compassion, you will do right by your employees.
  4. Believe in their people: I recently shared building blocks of trust to help leaders gain the trust of their employees. Schwantes offers an alternative viewpoint and says that "leaders are willing to give trust … before it's earned." Those in management positions should feel confident in the abilities of their employees.
  5. Lead with love: We spend a lot of our lives at the office. Liking the people you work with is a big component of being fulfilled in your job. By showing that you care about the well-being of your teammates – not just at work – and making meaningful connections, they will feel a larger sense of loyalty.

Not every employee has leadership potential or wants to be in a management role – and that's OK. These signs from Schwantes are a way to help you identify who in your organization might be ready to move up. They're also a great reminder of how we as leaders should act in our roles.

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About the Author

B. Dan Berger, President and CEO, NAFCU

Dan BergerB. Dan Berger became NAFCU president and CEO on Aug. 1, 2013. He was promoted to executive vice president of government affairs in July 2009 after joining NAFCU in January 2006 as senior vice president of government affairs overseeing five divisions including legislative affairs, regulatory affairs, research/economics, regulatory compliance and political affairs/PAC.

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