12 Ways To Identify Internal Management Talent


What one tip do you have for identifying potential management talent from within your current employee ranks?


1. Look for Zeal

“As the founder of an ed tech company, I’m pretty confident that I can teach people most things, but I know for sure that I can’t teach passion. When you spot someone in the ranks who shows true excitement and enthusiasm for your mission and product, nurture them and encourage that zeal — you’d be surprised at the results. It’s not a specific skill set, just someone who believes in the mission.”

-Jess Brondo, Admitted.ly

Follow @jessbrondo


2. Test Them Out

“If you need to identify whether an employee has potential for management, give him a chance to prove it. Assign a challenging and meaningful project he must complete with the help of other team members. Give him the role of team leader, and evaluate how well he performs in that role. Allow some time to go by, then grade him on skills like delegation, follow-through and communication. ”

-Robert Sofia, Platinum Advisor Marketing Strategies

Follow @robertsofia


3. Identify Dedication

“I identify potential managers by seeing how they work and what that produces. Along with that, I find the people who lead by example. You want managers whose work goes above and beyond. They will inspire other employees to do the same as they work with those managers and see the example they set. If you find those people in your company and reward that spirit, you’ll create a really good work force!”

-Kyle Clayton, Better Creative

Follow @KyleClaytonGore


4. Recognize Accountability

“There’s no real way to tell who would be a great manager. But the one thing to look for is accountability. Who raises his hand when a crisis emerges? Who takes the heat when things go wrong? Who sticks up for his or her co-workers when a mistake is made? One of the most important assets of a manager is grace under fire, so if someone already has that attribute, that’s someone to keep an eye on.”

-Jay Wu, A Forever Recovery



5. Look for a Natural Teacher

“When team members are naturally supporting and teaching others, that’s a great sign of managerial talent. It tells me that they know what needs to be done, are seeing others who struggle and are proactively helping them with education and training without being asked. Combine that with an employee who can hold others accountable to tasks and standards, and you have a great manager!”

-Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems

Follow @krazevedo


6. Look for People Who Take Action

“I look for people who take action. Specifically, I look for people who have told me what they’ve done instead of what to do. There are so many moving parts in a company. You need people who are not just self-starters, but people who take responsibility to try things (regardless of whether they succeed or not) and then tell you about that success or failure.”

-Liam Martin, Staff.com

Follow @vtamethodman



7. Look for Good Listeners

“In a startup, we’re often so focused on getting things done that we’re talking over each other, going with whichever idea is the loudest or the person who talks the most. Instead, look for employees who both listen and contribute. A good listener is a sign of a good decision-maker — she considers multiple points of view and really pays attention. She doesn’t always have to be heard.”

-Susan Lamotte, Exaqueo

Follow @SusanLaMotte


8. Ask for Their “Why”

“I’m a co-founder of an executive search firm. We begin evaluating leadership talent by asking one simple question: “What’s your why?” Your “why” is your purpose for working. If that leader’s purpose aligns with the organization’s mission, we know that we can move on to the next phases of our evaluation process. Why? Because the people who excel in organizations are motivated by their missions.”

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors



9. Look for People Who Confront Problems

“I like to see people who lead by example, work hard, can see the bigger picture and can have the difficult conversations. In my experience, the latter is a critical and often overlooked attribute. I believe it was Ben Horowitz who said that he could judge the caliber of a CEO on his willingness to have the toughest conversations right away. Managers need to confront them head-on, not wait.”

-Chuck Cohn, Varsity Tutors

Follow @chuckcohn


10. Make Sure They Know Their Limits

ROBERT J. MOORE, RJMetrics“In addition to outstanding performance, look for people who have the ability to say “no” when they are overwhelmed or feel that they won’t be able to do a good job. Managers are often overextended, and it’s important to be able to focus on the areas where they can make the most impact. ”

-Robert Moore, RJMetrics

Follow @robertjmoore



11. Find Those Who Go the Extra Mile

“Staying after hours to knock out a project, the ability to handle stress (or mask it), communication style, loyalty and attitude are all important. People who go the extra mile as part of their personality (when nobody is watching) are great people to promote from within. It’s easy to tell who genuinely cares about the success of a company versus those who are only there to collect a paycheck.”

-Ziver Berg, Zivelo

Follow @zivelo


12. Look for Initiative and Execution

“Look for the people who not only have new ideas, but who have the ability to make them move forward.”

-Jeff Berger, Doostang and Universtum Group
Follow @genyjobs



Originally published on StartupCollective.


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