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By Darryl Stewart
The top 5 qualities to look for when promoting people into leadership

The top 5 qualities to look for when promoting people into leadership

According to a scan of the top 3,000 leadership books of all time, the top five qualities of a leader are:

  • humility;
  • listening;
  • communication;
  • collaboration and team building; and
  • intelligence.

And according to leadership trainer and author Linton Sellen, your job as a leader is to:

  1. select people for aptitude;
  2. communicate;
  3. train and develop;
  4. manage; and
  5. motivate.

These two lists seem right to me, yet they fly in the face of many of the leadership job promotions I see happening around me. The wrong people are regularly promoted for the wrong reasons to the most important positions in our organizations. Things like being the most detail-oriented; being the hardest worker; being the best at the front-line role; having the most experience with the organization; or having a natural command presence (whatever that means) seem to carry a lot more weight than what time has taught us is actually most important.

As Sellen says, a leader’s #1 job is to select employees who have aptitude for the job you need done. And selecting the right kind of people for leadership and management positions is our most important job as leaders. If we want to build organizations that are improving every day, we need to develop the right people as leaders.

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