4 Ways Great Leaders Mine for Emerging Top Talent

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As a leader, nothing you do will ensure long-term success like finding and developing emerging leadership talent.

Effective leaders are like gold-miners, always looking for the next “rising star” on the team.

Rising stars are those members of your team who are exhibiting ever-increasing passion, desire and, most importantly, results.

So, how do you actually spot them? What are the tell-tale signs effective leaders look for when they are prospecting for the emerging leaders on the team?

Here are four proven ways to spot the rising stars who are emerging all around you:

1.   Watch for migration

People will tend to “flock” towards a rising leader. Whether they be members of your team, or volunteers in your church or organization, there is always a movement of people towards centers of energy created by an emerging leader.

Watch for it. Because where you have an effective leader in place, over time you will see more and more people drift into that leader’s orbit.

2.   Listen for “buzz”

A team led by a rising star will generate more water-cooler talk. People connected with that team will become raving fans and will increasingly pepper their conversations with news about that team.

Listen for it. Where you hear increasing “buzz” you may well have a rising star on the horizon.

3.   Sense the tension

When you have a growing leader in place, they will start to consume more resources in order to generate and manage growth. They will need more facility space, more budget, and more organization-wide communication.

This resource consumption can cause mild annoyance among teammates. You need to manage these tensions, while recognizing they could be pointing toward a rising-star leader.

4.   Trace the pathway

At the church where I served as executive pastor, I once compiled a list of our church’s most effective leaders (elders, deacons, small group leaders, etc) and traced their stories back. I found that across the board, many of these top leaders had been developed through one particular department in the church.

Not surprisingly, the leader of that ministry was identified as one of our true rising stars.

So keep prospecting for the next opportunity and the next breakthrough. But above all, keep prospecting for your next rising star.

Because when you find them, that’s as good as gold.

the author

Scott Cochrane

Vice President- International, Willow Creek Association. Love Jesus, Nora, Adam & Robin, Amy, Dave & Willow and John, Fiona & Will. Lifelong learner.

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