It is vital for business leaders to keep one eye on the future of their company. Whether bringing in fresh talent or identifying promising individuals, there are some skills and abilities that are essential to look for in employees. It is also important not to discount any employees without properly considering their potential, even if hidden.  

It is important to remember that many of the skills required of a good executive can be taught, and as a business leader, it is down to you to help develop the highest potential talent. Here are some of the skills and knowledge you should be looking for when identifying promising young employees.  

Willingness To Go The Extra Mile 

An employee willing to put the extra work in at busy times is often a good candidate for progression. Putting in overtime shows that they care about the business’s success and are willing to work until a job is done. While it is important not to encourage overworking as this can lead to burnout, occasional overtime is an excellent indicator of an employee who could flourish in a leadership position.  

Ability To Work As Part Of A Team 

Teamwork is crucial for people of all levels in a business. Good teamwork skills can mean an individual has an aptitude for leadership and communication skills as well. A good business leader will make a team work well together without bringing ego or conflict into the situation.  

Stepping Up When Needed 

An excellent way to identify potential executives is by offering regular opportunities for employees to rise to meet a challenge. High potential employees will usually jump at the chance to prove themselves. It can also be a good indicator that the employee isn’t scared of trying new things – an excellent quality in leadership candidates.  

It may help to offer employees the chance to mentor new starters or take the lead on a project. These can be excellent ways to assess how the employee will cope with additional responsibilities.  

Able To Work Independently 

Another excellent sign of a high potential employee is an ability to get on with their work without direct oversight. They are usually the employees who don’t need reminding of the date of a deadline and who are on time every time with any work given to them. Management roles can be lonely jobs, and while you will be able to mentor them on their way to the top job, it is essential that they are comfortable and able to work autonomously.   

Knowledge Of New And Complex Processes 

The world of business shifts rapidly at times. Bringing in new blood with experience and knowledge of new processes can help inject a fresh perspective into a business. It can also often be easier for younger people to grasp different types of technology and incorporate them into the business.  

You could send potential executives on courses to further develop their skills and knowledge. For instance, you could consider a business automation technologies course to assess how well they can take in complex technical information. For more information on automation courses, the details are here

Producing Consistently Excellent Work 

Another tell-tale sign of a high potential employee is that they produce consistently excellent work for the business. While it’s unlikely that you will find an employee who produces outstanding work 100% of the time – nobody is perfect – it can help to evaluate which members of your team deliver the most consistently strong work.  

Thriving Under Pressure 

Executive-level management comes with a certain amount of pressure, so it is vital to find an employee who will stay cool-headed under pressure. You could gauge this by observing a team member’s reaction when given a challenging deadline. Do they remain calm, collected and rise to the task? Or do they lose their composure?  

A strong and steady leader is essential to keep a team working well. If you have concerns about a high potential employee’s ability to remain calm in stressful situations, this could be a red flag.  

Asking Relevant And Challenging Questions 

Employees who are interested in the business will often ask insightful and relevant questions. This can show they are interested in how the company operates and that they have a curious mind – excellent traits in a potential leader.  

It is also a good sign if an employee isn’t afraid to ask probing questions about work from people of all levels without being disrespectful. It is crucial for businesses to employ people who challenge assumptions and make everyone think.  


Finding the next generation of talent is an important task for business leaders. If none of the employees in your business stands out to you, then it may be time to bring in some new people to shake things up. It may help to consider the things that matter to you as a business leader and nurture these talents in those individuals with the most promise. 

Photo credits:

About the Author

Related Posts

Designing a flexible office space is a great way to make the most out of your premises. You can...

Let’s set the scene. You’ve woken up bright and early, got dressed, enjoyed your cereal, and are...

You’ve done the paperwork, invested the capital, bought all the supplies and found your perfect...

Leave a Reply