Finding Hidden Leaders

Most organizations we know have more leadership power within their ranks than they recognize. Some individuals quickly acquire reputations as rising stars and move up the ranks as if in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Others, for a variety of reasons, may miss the fast track. Some of these eventually leave in search of new pastures, while others stay behind, without ever reaching their full potential. Either way, the skills, knowledge, and energy they could bring to the company are lost. In our experience, there are three common reasons why leaders get overlooked, none of them easily overcome by the leadership-harvesting approaches prevalent at many organizations.

By acknowledging that overlooked leaders can be identified through more proactive efforts, executives should be able to reshape their leadership culture, increase the available talent, save on recruiting costs, and raise retention rates. Higher levels of engagement, greater entrepreneurialism, and a more inclusive culture are less quantifiable but no less valuable benefits.

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