Personal Development

5 Signs That Your Employee Is Ready to Lead

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A Gallup Poll Study in 2015 of 7,272 adults revealed that half of them left their jobs to get away from their manager.

It wasn't the only article that was wrestling with the same concerns that are constantly running through business circles.   The notion of decreasing loyalty in the workplace has been steadily spiralling downward for decades.   The average employee now changes jobs 12 times in their lifetime, with variations during age periods.

The old contract of loyalty whereby the employee stayed with the organization in exchange for lifetime security has been gone for some time now.   Despite the general level of loyalty to an employee is decreasing, there are still organizations which inspire high levels of loyalty.   While a number of factors come into play in the loyalty equation, leadership is still a major one.

Here are 5 signs to look for that signal that an employee is ready to lead.

Are Authentic

If the Reddit community cannot learn to balance authenticity and compassion, it may be a great website, but it will never be a truly great community." Sam Altman

Nobody likes to work for a phoney.   While they may have been tolerated in the past out of a need for security at work, younger generations are increasingly unwilling to accept direction from people they have little respect for.   Authentic leaders can be counted on to say what they mean and do what they say.   They are the same person to their staff, to those above them, their customers and partners.

Genuinely See Their Purpose as Serving Those Under Them

Leadership is not a rank or position. Leadership is a service to be given." Simon Sinek

Loyalty inspiring leaders sincerely see their part as role modelling, motivating and improving those that they lead. They see their staff as more than a stepping stone towards, or a means to, their own promotion up the ladder.   They find meaning and purpose in advancing and bringing out the best in those that they lead.   Success to them is counted in the number of people that they have helped advance in the organization.   In private conversations regarding their work, they love to include stories about those employees and their accomplishments.

Support and Trust Their Staff

Earn trust, earn trust, earn trust. Then you can worry about the rest." Seth Godin

Inspiring leaders push staff to go beyond their comfort zones and are there to support them.   Having the confidence of their leader, staff are more apt to take on challenges and risk failure.   Staff who know that their leaders have their backs, are more apt to take risks than those who fear the consequences of making mistakes.

Share Their Values and Ideas

If you are working on something exciting that you really care about you don't have to be pushed, the vision pulls you." Steve Jobs

Leaders who inspire those under them are open and transparent with their values and ideas; sharing them enthusiastically and openly at every opportunity.   Their followers never have to guess where they are coming from.   They make it very clear to their staff what it takes to be successful in the organization and share where they see the organization is going.   Their positive energy and belief in those they are working with is contagious and boosts the energy of those around them.

Take a Genuine Interest in the Lives of Their Staff

Each year PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi writes 400 letters to the parents of her executive team.

Talk to any inspiring leader and they will be able to share an amazing wealth of information about their staff, not only their work history but their families, hobbies and interests outside of work.   They are well aware that staff have lives outside of their work and there are a lot of outside factors that impact their work performance.   Managers who are there to support their staff in all areas of their lives which in turn, inspires much greater loyalty than those who show no interest, or concern in their personal lives.   The sign of an inspiring manager is one who gets invited to major events that their employees are celebrating and is commonly included in group events that staff organize.

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About the author

Harvey Deutschendorf

Harvey Deutschendorf is an emotional intelligence expert, internationally published author and speaker. To take the EI Quiz go to His book THE OTHER KIND OF SMART, Simple Ways to Boost Your Emotional Intelligence for Greater Personal Effectiveness and Success has been published in 4 languages. Harvey writes for FAST COMPANY and has a monthly column with HRPROFESSIONALS MAGAZINE. You can follow him on Twitter @theeiguy