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Finding the Needle in the Haystack

During interviews, three qualities outshine a host of others: competence, capacity, and desire. Together, these qualities make up the measure of a worker. A combination of these three qualities in a candidate can create a potential leader. At interviews, potential employers and HR personnel mostly shop for the optimal purchase but often end up getting someone with only one of these three qualities. A few will seek a second. However, very rarely do they weigh the levels of all three in each candidate.

Finding the Needle in the Haystack
Finding a person with the right qualities can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
Is Competency Enough?

Competency is only one cog in the larger wheel of efficiency. Never make it the only yardstick. Competency must be paired with capacity and a desire to achieve. At times, competency leads to complacency, an inhibitor of personal progress. Without desire, very little will be gained. Likewise, a lack of capacity will inhibit an employee from fully utilizing his or her competencies.

The Capacity to Get Things Done

The ability to deliver is all about capacity. Certain situations put to the test individuals' capacities to make use of their competencies and make things happen. "Capacity" refers to one's ability to comprehend a situation accurately—to quickly assess needs and allocate available resources to get things done. Capacity depends on the internal makeup of the person and integrates potential, excellence, intelligence, motivation, flexibility, creativity, and character.

Kindling Desire

Desire spells motivation—the urge to excel beyond the expected. A spirit of desire will also push others to pursue the same objective. Lack of motivational support affects the individual's competence and capacity to work. Talent alone will never help an employee finish the task at hand or meet deadlines. Desire ebbs and flows based on one's personal expectations. While one person may be satisfied after nabbing a coveted promotion, another may continue to pursue greater heights even after retirement. A potential candidate for leadership draws energy from a desire to learn new skills each day and put them to use to better individual and collective performance. The desire of truly ambitious employees cannot be hidden.

The Balancing Act

Are you trying to locate a leader on your team? Here are a couple of guidelines to consider when attempting to identify employees with leadership potential:
  • Potential leaders sparkle in strenuous situations. When the going gets tough, they will ensure that those around them continue to deliver. They derive confidence from taking control of difficult tasks and holding the team together.

  • The HR manager must be a keen observer and must weigh the personal traits of each employee if he or she wants to spot potential leaders among team members.
A good HR manager will take advantage of a difficult situation to identify the needle in the haystack. Motivated potential leaders will revise their work repeatedly until it meets the company's standards and put in every extra effort to ensure a project concludes successfully. Such employees will also motivate others to deliver their best work product. Take a look around. You may find a future leader right under your nose!
On the net:What Makes a Good Team Leader?

Concepts of Leadership

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