Internal Promotion: How to Spot Great Leaders

internal promotion for high potential leaders
Internal promotion is the best way to save your time and money. But, how do you find the qualities of a great leader? Read more to find out.

Is your company looking to hire external talents to fill up some senior roles? If yes, have you discussed it with your talent acquisition team to prioritise employees with leadership qualities within the company? Have you thought about internal promotion? Your existing employees may be the great leader you’re searching for.

Before spending your money and time hiring external talents, it’s good to reconsider as you may upset some employees. Yes, I’m talking about those who have continuously achieved excellent results, worked with your company for a few years and know how the organisation operates inside out. 

Sometimes, they’re entitled to promotions. From an employee’s point of view, a company that prioritises internal promotion cares about its employees’ career development. 

“When you promote from within, people see opportunity and become less likely to move around in their careers,” said Greg Chansler, senior manager of human resources for Kawasaki Motors Corporation.

That being said, great leaders encompass skills and the duration they work with the company. Someone can be a high achiever or has worked with the company for many years but lacks leadership traits.

Here are some qualities of a great leader:

They have integrity

internal promotion for reliable leaders

“The supreme leadership quality is integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office,” said Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States.

Great leaders need to act with honesty, integrity and reliability. Employees need to know if their leader will behave ethically and make them feel safe. They need to know if leaders won’t take the credit for themselves or blame them when things go wrong.

High potential leaders treat people fairly and uphold the company’s values. They inspire trust and encourage others to do the same.

They communicate effectively

Another trait of a good leader is communicating clearly to the team members, from company goals to specific tasks. 

In addition, they share valuable information, ask intelligent questions, ask for new ideas, clarify misunderstandings, listen attentively and respond appropriately.

They are empathetic

Empathetic leaders deserve an internal promotion. They are compassionate and connect with their team members. They understand and care about the needs and concerns of others. 

If something goes wrong, they will find the cause behind it instead of pointing fingers or jumping to conclusions. Displaying empathy will create a harmonious working relationship. As for the leaders, it will earn them the trust and respect from the employees.

They are self-aware and able to manage themselves

great leaders able to see the bigger picture

“Effective leaders focus on developing their emotional intelligence,” said Teresa Goode, EdD, associate teaching professor for the leadership program at Northeastern University. 

Good leaders understand their strengths and weaknesses and play them to their advantage. They’re able to prioritise their goals and are responsible for accomplishing the objectives. They focus on the big picture and set boundaries between their personal and professional lives.

They encourage innovation, creativity and strategic thinking

Employees with leadership qualities dare to take the risk. They innovate, experiment and look forward to where the organisation is going. There will always be some changes in the business landscape. But, they keep pursuing their goals with an open mind and flexibility to overcome the challenges. 

When you see employees who can inspire others with their innovation, creativity and strategic thinking, you might be looking at leaders without titles. Thus, you may want to consider them for an internal promotion.

They are positive

High potential leaders radiate high energy and it’s contagious. They don’t have to be always smiling and chatty, but they pass a sense of optimism to others. Nobody likes to work with people who are grumpy and are affecting their mood negatively. 

A survey conducted by The Predictive Index that involves more than 5,000 employees found that 79% of managers rated as “great” have a positive attitude.

They ask for feedback from others

great leaders are open to feedback

The willingness to improve is one of the leadership characteristics you should look for. They are the employees who ask for feedback and how they could do better in the following projects. 

Furthermore, it shows that they focus not only on the result but also on the process, how their colleagues perceive them and what action to take next.

They recognise the achievement of others

One of the most powerful traits of great leaders is recognising others’ achievements. Instead of being jealous, they don’t feel intimidated when others succeed and give credits when necessary. 

Being recognised and appreciated are one of the most important things employees seek in leaders. They will boost the team’s morale and motivate team members to continue giving their best. Thus, it’s always important to select the right employees for promotions within a company. 

They bounce back and push forward

Great leaders are resilient. It would be easier to spot their leadership qualities when examining managers. 

You can tell if employees would make great leaders when they can manage their emotions and actions when feeling stressed. How do they overcome the challenges? How long does it take before they get back on track?

They lead by example

great leaders lead by example

High potential leaders set the best examples for others, even if they have no title. They set high standards for themselves, demonstrate the behaviour and work ethic that others want to follow.

They know how to say 'no' and delegate

Some leaders fear that delegating tasks is a sign of weakness. As a result, they struggle to get their jobs done. Great leaders understand their abilities and capacity well. They’re not afraid to pass the tasks to the right person for the organisation’s best interest.

Summing up

These are some of the qualities of a great leader. However, please bear in mind that some employees might already display these leadership qualities while others need time and proper guidance to develop the skills. 

You can gather some candidates in your company and equip them with leadership training to prepare them for senior roles. I hope this article helps you to spot great leaders in your company for a successful internal promotion.

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