Identifying exceptional leaders at all levels.

Leaders are found everywhere throughout your organization. They’re not just in management, they’re in operations, accounting, janitorial. They’re the people who put what’s best for the company ahead of what’s best for the individual.

Leaders are incredibly important, which is exactly why you need them. But even though they’re found everywhere, leaders don’t grow on a tree. They need to be identified, nurtured and recognized. Make them feel valued and they’ll respond positively.

Here’s how to recognize the people living and breathing excellence:

  1. Identify them – They’ll be the people for whom success is the norm. They’re sincere and credible, and nearly everything they touch seems to turn to gold. Don’t interpret this as a lack of failures – even the most successful people have their fair share of setbacks. But the truly exceptional will always find a way to bounce back better than ever. They’re also the ones who naturally assume leadership roles and set a standard for colleagues, sometimes even those above them.
  2. Nurture them – Some leaders are born (up to 24% inherit a predisposition for leadership), but the majority are made. To bring out the inner George Washington in high-potential partners, identify and promote their unique skillset. Offer growth and training opportunities to help them reach their pinnacle, and they’ll take you along for the ascent.
  3. Recognize them – Everyone wants to feel valued. This is especially true of the natural leaders you work with. Show them how much you appreciate their contributions with special recognition. Whether it’s a stylish watch or something unique to his or her interests, find a way to make sure your important people know you appreciate them.

Redefine leadership as the willingness to take responsibility, then recognize the people who do it. The rewards will be significant.

For more ideas on how to recognize all the people who are so important to your business, see the 2016 Executive Guide.