Are You Able to Spot the Emerging Leaders in Your Company?

Written by: Betsy Kauffman, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

We all hear the terms “hustling” or “grinding” used to describe working hard or achieving breakthroughs in our work. Emerging leaders are a prime example of this description — they are talented high-achievers who thrive in their current roles. They regularly outpace their peers in their job performance, are considered subject-matter experts, challenge the status quo, and are driven to accomplish the lofty goals they set for themselves.

But is there more to being an emerging leader than just grinding and outworking your peers?


While having a strong work ethic, and being a high achiever are valuable and desirable skills, there are several other key characteristics an emerging leader should possess.

Confidence: One could assume this characteristic comes naturally with being a high-achieving individual, but sometimes a lack of confidence can undermine and sabotage potentially great leaders. An emerging leader is confident in their skillset and ability to lead and possesses enough humility to know how to be a good listener when others offer innovative ideas.

Emotional intelligence: Being calm under pressure and focusing on the solution instead of dwelling on the problem is a great trait in an emerging leader. It’s easy to lose your cool when things spiral out of control, but to have someone with a level head who doesn’t get caught up in blaming, self-sabotaging, or paralysis by analysis can be the difference between success and failure on a project.

Resiliency: The real test of an emerging leader is how they respond to adversity. So that project they spearheaded didn’t go so well, or that new initiative didn’t accomplish what they had hoped it would. Their next steps are in the wake of failure or disappointment is what separates them from others—they take accountability, regroup, and dive fearlessly into the next project or challenge.

Are you thinking of someone on your team who exhibits these characteristics? If yes, that is fantastic. If not, how can you build a culture that incubates these emerging leaders and creates potential within your team? I believe as a manager and a leader, you should constantly be looking out for potential talent and possible emerging leaders on your team.

If not, I can guarantee someone else is, and they will quickly snap up these high-potential individuals.

Now that I have shared my thoughts, I am curious to hear any additional traits you have discovered in your teams' emerging leaders. What do you think is the most crucial skill for emerging leaders to develop as we enter a new era of remote work?

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Read more from Betsy!

Betsy Kauffman, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Betsy Kauffman is a globally recognized Leadership and Organizational Agility Coach with more than 20 years' experience working in Fortune 500 companies. Her company, Cross Impact Coaching, helps leaders create innovative, aligned, disruptive organizations. Betsy has observed and worked side by side with hundreds of CxO leaders and has seen just about every variation of how Leadership Teams operate and execute (both successfully and not so successfully). She deeply understands and has experienced firsthand when the team of individuals charged with leading the organization aren't aligned, focused, and working as one, the rest of the organization suffers. She is a published author providing thought leadership to both the agile and project management communities and speaks internationally on topics around leadership, corporate culture, and achieving organizational agility. She just completed her first TED talk - “How To Have Open and Honest Conversations at Work” in September 2020 in conjunction with the TED@PMI partnership and was selected by the TED editors to have her talk highlighted on in the near future – stay tuned for more details!



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