For the second year in a row, there is no consensus favorite quarterback in the NFL Draft, and so the entire draft weekend is in play.
As a coach/team manager, there are various factors that go into choosing the right players for your roster: 1. They don’t have arrest records for battery (if that isn’t #1 it should be), 2. They have undeniable skill, 3. They have potential to become great leaders.
You can be a teachable, athletic football player and not have what it takes to become a great leader.
Say what you want about Tom Brady, but he can lead his team to victory, sometimes even with properly inflated balls.
He had what it takes to become great–and the Patriots saw that potential when others did not. After all, Tom Brady was drafted at 199 in the sixth round, the memory of which still brings him to tears after all the Super bowl rings and supermodels.
Meanwhile, JaMarcus Russell was the overall #1 pick in the 2007 NFL Draft as Quarterback for the Oakland Raiders. He was released after three seasons, and the team publicly regretted drafting him, citing his lack of work ethic and party boy nature.
Performance at one level can’t always predict performance at the next level. Potential implies the ability to grow, adapt, and transform oneself as the scope and complexity of one’s work changes and increases.
The ability to identify and nurture high-potential talent is important for any company, whether the objective is to make money for the team owners win Super Bowls or to create the world’s most absorbent diaper.
Top companies known for leadership excel at spotting high-potential employees. This tool details what they look for. Are you showing off your potential to potential employers?
Here are the characteristics they look for:
- Ability to Learn and Adapt
This includes learning quickly and internalizing knowledge gained from mistakes and successes and expanding capacity by adapting to working in new conditions.
This also includes a heavy dose of the ‘ol “What got you here won’t get you there”.
So get practicing your adaptive acumen.
- A Zeal for Winning and Improving
An ex-P&G boss of mine (and now a CEO of a major company) once told me, “Winners visibly exude a desire to win and get better. Losers hide.”
Fair enough. (I’m just glad he didn’t send me this thought on email while I was on an island-getaway vacation)
So fall in love with the pursuit of improvement and wear your love of challenge and drive to succeed on your sleeve.
- Ability to Efficiently Influence
The highest-potential employees are able to Influence others quickly without unnecessary and repetitive overtures and while cutting through politics. They focus on what’s right, not who’s right.
So get skilled at bringing others along and reduce your dependency on position power to get things done.
- Powerful Personal Presence
Related to the above but worthy of its own mention, this means having presence that instills confidence in others. It means acting with great empathy and conducting yourself with an unswerving moral code to always do what’s right. It means inspiring others with your words and actions.
Any leader can flex their position power as they move up the chain–those who use their personal power to much greater effect stand out as high-potentials.
Amp-up your personal power by always doing the hard right versus the easy wrong, by lifting morale with your words and actions, and by being a beacon of trustworthiness and visible caring.
- EQ with the IQ
Emotional Intelligence is a hot topic now, and for good reason. Conducting yourself in an even-tempered manner with great self-awareness and self-reflection is like a beacon of high-potential behavior. It’s further enhanced by learning to read situations and emote appropriate behaviors.
- Expert Decision-Maker
High-potential employees count decision making as a core strength. They can sort through complexity and ambiguity to make informed decisions. They remain flexible to new input along the way while holding steadfast to what’s been decided as a general rule of thumb. They see patterns and make connections that others don’t.
You can become expert at decision making with disciplined and intentional practice and a desire to make it a defining and differentiating strength.
This article was published by Scott Mautz and Natalie Hastings
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