In today’s culture, teams are increasingly searching for ways to support one another and encourage growth in the workplace. Part of this effort includes identifying and inspiring emerging leaders to nurture the traits and skills that will make them effective.
Emerging leaders are individuals who demonstrate the traits of leaders, and who may benefit from additional support to fully meet their potential. With the right guidance, these individuals will become strong, dedicated team members who will benefit your company. Over time, supporting these individuals may help increase revenue, improve mood and boost morale, and support better outcomes and outputs for those around them. In addition, leveraging existing talent in the form of emerging leaders helps reduce the costs of hiring and onboarding new employees.
If you believe you may be an emerging leader — or you see one in your company — we’ve put together a guide to help you confirm your capabilities and seek the support that will help you level up.
Are You an Emerging Leader? Understanding Your Leadership Capacity
Before getting the support you need to grow, you first need to confirm your status as an emerging leader. From our perspective, there are a handful of traits that we use to distinguish emerging leaders from effective employees. Here are the most common traits we view as leading indicators of potential:
- Curiosity + Learning. Successful leaders have an innate desire to grow and develop. They ask questions, continuously learn and improve, and challenge the status quo, not only for the people around them, but for themselves, too.
Influence. Emerging leaders can encourage people, inspire them, motivate them. People turn to them for guidance and support. If you find that the people around you turn to you for advice or direction, you are likely influential.
- High Achievement. Emerging leaders work hard, set and reach goals, and generally want to be better. They are typically experts in their field, which gives them the context needed to support others on their team. They also demonstrate a desire to continue to grow, including through feedback — and failure, if necessary. When coupled with curiosity and learning, this trait allows emerging leaders to innovate.
- Leadership Skills. Emerging leaders often demonstrate the beginnings of skills, such as strong supervisory or management skills, having a strong vision for the future, and being effective communicators. They also are likely to be strong team players, collaborative, and committed to supporting others. These skills ladder up to being an empathetic, driven, team-oriented leader.
- Core Values. Emerging leaders have a strong set of core values that guide their work. Regardless of what the values are, they have beliefs and values that drive them. Often, this is coupled with a sense of purpose, which guides their decision-making. Core values are often the impetus behind high achievement and curiosity.
- Desire. Emerging leaders typically want to be in positions where they can initiate or support change. While this is a rule of thumb, not a guarantee, if someone is demonstrating these traits, they often are being driven internally to become stronger leaders. This is a core component of leadership, as the role can be challenging. Without desire, individuals may lose their passion or fail to live up to their potential.
Ways to Develop as an Emerging Leader
When reviewing those traits, what did you think? Do you demonstrate these skills? If so, you are likely an emerging leader. At this point, you may be asking yourself “so what?” or “what next?”
First, know that no one develops in a vacuum. Without additional support, you may not reach your full potential. By seeking out structure and guidance, you can continue to hone your craft in order to be extraordinary.
That said, you have many options for how to move forward in your development now that you’ve established you are an emerging leader:
- Seek out opportunities in your current role. Ask for challenging new projects, opportunities, or training that can help you continue to grow while demonstrating your desire to become a leader.
- Find a mentor, coach, or guide to support you. With the guidance of a coach, mentor, or guide, you can change behaviors, collect knowledge from other people, and safely explore new possibilities.
- Enroll in an emerging leaders program. These programs provide structured, safe spaces to learn and practice leadership skills among peers.
An Emerging Leaders Program as a Catalyst for Growth
For many people, an emerging leaders program is an effective starting point to developing their skills and growing from an emerging leader into a practiced one. These programs provide the support needed for individuals to take control of their skills — and futures.
At Studio/E, our emerging leaders program is called the Expedition Program. This program, and others like it, teaches the proven techniques and tools used to effectively navigate the unknown, launch new ideas, and explore new possibilities. In other words, our trained Guides will equip you with the skills, habits, and mindsets needed to guide you as you become a better leader.
For example, in an emerging leaders program like the Expedition Program, participants may learn to ask exploratory questions to probe into the core opportunities and challenges of any scenario. The answers to those questions can guide further action, such as using declared action to make meaningful progress toward their goals. Together, these skills can create new opportunities for the individual and their business or organization.
Other skills developed in the Expedition Program and other similar programs include defining purpose, tapping into motivation, and packaging ideas. At Studio/E, we use the concept of minimum viable progress (MVP) to teach emerging leaders to take an idea from first spark to execution.
These lessons are all coupled with ongoing reflection, so participants can understand themselves and their progress, and community-building. By having a Learning Community through the Expedition Program, emerging leaders are connected with like-minded peers who can support their growth, encourage them, and walk through their journey together.
Together, these actions and activities will equip them with the tools they need to be stronger leaders over time. If these are the skills and strategies that interest you, consider an emerging leaders program like the Expedition Program.
Enroll in an Emerging Leaders Program Now
If you are an emerging leader or have identified one on your team, consider how you want to develop their skills and nurture their abilities. Do you want one-on-one guidance, or a supportive learning community? Are you seeking targeted support designed to meet your unique needs, or would you prefer an emerging leaders program with structure and guidance?
If you’re interested in professional guidance alongside diversely experienced peers, the Expedition Program may be right for you. Over the course of four sessions, participants learn and apply the seven proven principles of Exploratory Leadership. Create clarity, confidence, and motivation as an emerging leader with the Expedition Program.