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How Do You Identify a Leader? Give Us Your Thoughts for a Chance to Win!

kindle21Calling all recruiters and hiring managers: you could be the lucky recipient of a brand new Kindle™!

The latest employment indicators show that companies will be slow to hire in Q4, even as their profit outlook improves. Part of the reason for this is economic uncertainty among employers; however, on the upside, it’s also a reaction to the fact that companies have found ways to do more with less, according to this Wall Street Journal article.

As employers seek to maintain momentum in the uncertain months ahead, they will need to rely on the next generation of leaders to drive their companies forward – whether in the form of new hires or current employees taking on new responsibilities.

As you help organizations seek out these leaders, what qualities should you look for in candidates and current employees? The Hiring Site wants to put together a comprehensive list of the top qualities recruiters and hiring managers should look for in identifying leaders, and we’re asking you to share your own tried-and-true practices.

Share your thoughts with us, and you could win a new Kindle™ Wireless Reading Device.

How to enter:
Simply answer this question – “What quality or characteristic do you look for – above all else – when looking for your organization’s next leader, and why?” – in the comments section below, and you’ll automatically be entered to win a brand new Kindle™.

Contest details:
Entries will be accepted from 12 a.m. CST on Monday, November 2, 2009 until 11:59 p.m. CST on Friday, November 6, 2009.  Each account may only submit one answer for consideration; subsequent entries will not be considered. Spam responses will not be considered. The winner will be picked at random and notified via e-mail the week of November 11, 2009. Please read the full list of official contest rules and regulations.

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
397 comments
Kallia
Kallia

he is an educator first and foremost. He knows how to lead other people. It is a mixture of things actually that forms his/her intellectuality: an emotional intelligence,a knowledgeable professional coupled with team spirit.there is also something called as educative leadership which is focused on the ability to cope with the difficulties.

Maddy
Maddy

Integrity is listed twice.

Marylou Kay
Marylou Kay

I look for the person who anticipates the next step, without receiving direction, who thinks through the implications of their actions and potential results, and finally someone who has self-knowledge, open to learning and is not arrogant.

Maureen
Maureen

When identifying an up and coming leader we look for someone who has lead by example. Someone who is not self serving but a servant leader, i.e., wihtout ego and willing to go above & beyond and to do whatever it takes to assist the team in achieving successful outcomes.

Maureen
Maureen

When identifying an up and coming leader we look for someone who has lead by example. Someone who is not self serving but a servant leader, i.e., wihtout ego and willing to go above & beyond and to do whatever it takes to assist the team in achieving successful outcomes.

Ramiro
Ramiro

A leader is someone who looks to develop his/her team, and ultimately his/her replacement while doing all he/she can to motivate his/her team to meet and exceed the organization's goals. The exceptional leader puts the team and organization first. Those who best serve tend to be those who best lead.

Rob Webb
Rob Webb

The qualities I look for in a leader are: 1) Someone with an actual vision and plan to accomplish the goals. 2) Someone who is not afraid of making mistakes to bring the vision to fruition. 3) Someone who is not too proud to lead by example by pitching in and getting involved.... From my experience, when someone possesses these traits, they make for a quality leader in an organization.

Rob Webb
Rob Webb

The qualities I look for in a leader are: 1) Someone with an actual vision and plan to accomplish the goals. 2) Someone who is not afraid of making mistakes to bring the vision to fruition. 3) Someone who is not too proud to lead by example by pitching in and getting involved.... From my experience, when someone possesses these traits, they make for a quality leader in an organization.

HCasey
HCasey

This has been a topic we are discussing at our company. Many people can look like great leaders when things are going well. It is a true leader that can have vision and strategically plan for the future while encouraging and motivating their employees to higher levels of productivity when business is not thriving as in past years. Leaders must demonstrate behaviors they expect others to follow.

HCasey
HCasey

This has been a topic we are discussing at our company. Many people can look like great leaders when things are going well. It is a true leader that can have vision and strategically plan for the future while encouraging and motivating their employees to higher levels of productivity when business is not thriving as in past years. Leaders must demonstrate behaviors they expect others to follow.

Theo
Theo

The mark of a true leader is one who consistently inspires all around him or her to greatness; either by example, experience, knowledge, empathy, motivation and encouragement, or confidence.

Leah
Leah

A leader to me obviously takes charge and thinks before speaking. He/She doesn't have to have a second opinion in a decision. I look for confidence. You can't be a leader without it.

Leah
Leah

A leader to me obviously takes charge and thinks before speaking. He/She doesn't have to have a second opinion in a decision. I look for confidence. You can't be a leader without it.

Susan Leverentz
Susan Leverentz

Courage. We expect the most from our employees at all levels. We expect them to have the courage to take risks, be bold on behalf of our clients, own their actions and look fearlessly to the future and the possibilities it holds.

Susan Leverentz
Susan Leverentz

Courage. We expect the most from our employees at all levels. We expect them to have the courage to take risks, be bold on behalf of our clients, own their actions and look fearlessly to the future and the possibilities it holds.

Vincent James
Vincent James

To me, a leader is someone who gets their team to do what they want them to do because the team wants to do it. A leader has a clear vision and conveys the importance of every individual in achieving their goals. When the goals of the team are accomplished, a leader is the person in the background who allows their team to accept all the praise and compliments they have earned.

Vincent James
Vincent James

To me, a leader is someone who gets their team to do what they want them to do because the team wants to do it. A leader has a clear vision and conveys the importance of every individual in achieving their goals. When the goals of the team are accomplished, a leader is the person in the background who allows their team to accept all the praise and compliments they have earned.

Katherine Gregory
Katherine Gregory

The important qualities for any leader to possess are a vision for the future, a proven track record of results, strong communication skills and the ability to relate to all employees. The best leaders are those who can inspire and motivate others.

Barbara Randazzo
Barbara Randazzo

The leader I am looking for has a constant drive/desire to learn new things and to advance the knowledge of those around them. This trait, when combined with the essential ability to work collaboratively with others, is a powerful force that will drive business evolution, innovation and success.

Barbara Randazzo
Barbara Randazzo

The leader I am looking for has a constant drive/desire to learn new things and to advance the knowledge of those around them. This trait, when combined with the essential ability to work collaboratively with others, is a powerful force that will drive business evolution, innovation and success.

Ashley B
Ashley B

Its always a balancing act for a leader. A true leader knows how to teach and guide people without micromanaging each individual task. There is a time and place for learning excercises, and a leader knows when to make an employee's question a "learning excercise" and when to simply answer the question so that productivity and efficency are not lost. Most importantly, a leader must recoginze each individuals talents and skills and capitalize on those, so that the office and the employee are successful.

Ashley B
Ashley B

Its always a balancing act for a leader. A true leader knows how to teach and guide people without micromanaging each individual task. There is a time and place for learning excercises, and a leader knows when to make an employee's question a "learning excercise" and when to simply answer the question so that productivity and efficency are not lost. Most importantly, a leader must recoginze each individuals talents and skills and capitalize on those, so that the office and the employee are successful.

Rachel Gamez
Rachel Gamez

A real leader is one is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. A real leader does not feel that any task is beneath him. A real leader looks out for his staff and is honest and fair.

Rachel Gamez
Rachel Gamez

A real leader is one is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. A real leader does not feel that any task is beneath him. A real leader looks out for his staff and is honest and fair.

Aimee
Aimee

The best leaders I've ever had are those who are willing to work with the front line workers, putting a little elbow grease into what they do. If a supervisor exudes the air of being "too good" for the menial tasks, s/he doesn't gain the respect of his/her employees. I want a leader who not only has an understanding of the work I do, but is also willing to do it alongside me when the need arises.

Jessica White
Jessica White

If I was tasked with recruiting our next leader, I would look for numerous qualities as I believe it is a combination of factors that makes someone successful in leading an organization. The top 3 that I would look for are that they have a history of leading by example, (especially in today's economy) someone that is open to change, and most importantly, someone who motivates and empowers their staff with their vision for the organization.

Rosemary Fontaine
Rosemary Fontaine

The qualities I look for in a leader are: someone who wants to achieve high goals rather than simply bossing people around; honesty and integrity; self-confidence, someone who implements, motivates and provides direction; someone who conveys a strong vision of the future; someone who effectively communicates and listens; someone who commands respect and helps employees understand how they contribute to the company's overall success.

Sinead
Sinead

The quality we look for above all else is the ability to influence others. Someone who can enlist the help and support of others in order to accomplish a common goal.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

What we mainly look for is flexibility. With so many generations in the workforce, flexibility is key.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

What we mainly look for is flexibility. With so many generations in the workforce, flexibility is key.

AJ
AJ

Decision-making skills. Nothing is worse if you get a leader that waffles on everything.

Stewart Smith
Stewart Smith

I look for a leadership attitude. That includes a level of self confidence, a level of the ability to learn the challenges of the jobs they will be
managing, and the ability to know what's important to the people in his/her department.

Stewart Smith
Stewart Smith

I look for a leadership attitude. That includes a level of self confidence, a level of the ability to learn the challenges of the jobs they will be
managing, and the ability to know what's important to the people in his/her department.

Lori
Lori

I believe the most inportant quality is the ability to influence others. When identifying a good manager within your current staff it is important to identfy the person that everyone flocks to; that seems to always have the answer and people/coworkers seem to trust; this is the person that knows their key to success does not lie with what they know but with who they can surround themselves with that bring the knowledge and expertise to them. A people magnet if you will.

Lori
Lori

I believe the most inportant quality is the ability to influence others. When identifying a good manager within your current staff it is important to identfy the person that everyone flocks to; that seems to always have the answer and people/coworkers seem to trust; this is the person that knows their key to success does not lie with what they know but with who they can surround themselves with that bring the knowledge and expertise to them. A people magnet if you will.

Tenika
Tenika

The characteristic most defining in a leader is their ability to stand out within an organization--- taking on some risks and responsibility, then holding themselves accountable for the outcome. It's very easy when the atmosphere is positive to be a leader. It's when times are tough, leadership is most crucial.

Mark F.
Mark F.

You do not find Leadership. It finds you.
What is meant by this is Leadership cannot always be assessed or diagnosed in an interview. It emerges when the situation call for someone to step up and take charge. It can come at any time, from any direction. You do not need a title or certain amount of experience (although this can help). You need courage, conviction and the ability to rally others for a common goal...

erin corriveau
erin corriveau

a leader is someone who enters an agency with multiple new creative ideas to bring the company to a higher plane. at the same time, this leader is aware of his or her limitations and the companies goals and doesn't exert themself and wear themselves out.

Gayle
Gayle

A leader is someone who isn't afraid to take ownership and responsibility to address issues and solve problems. They work with the people to come up with better ways to do things and follow through to ensure it gets done, not just because of a quick fix, but to resolve the root cause so the problem doesn't keep reoccuring. They also treat people fairly and consistenty and hold others accountable - by being firm yet friendly. People watch all leaders and they have to know they can trust the leader by their actions.

Gayle
Gayle

A leader is someone who isn't afraid to take ownership and responsibility to address issues and solve problems. They work with the people to come up with better ways to do things and follow through to ensure it gets done, not just because of a quick fix, but to resolve the root cause so the problem doesn't keep reoccuring. They also treat people fairly and consistenty and hold others accountable - by being firm yet friendly. People watch all leaders and they have to know they can trust the leader by their actions.

Tita Cichoski
Tita Cichoski

Someone who leads by example and has not only the drive, but the passion and the heart to succeed.

Marina
Marina

I believe what makes an effective leader is someone who maintains a sense of situational awareness during these crazy times in corporate America. People cling to individuals who remain calm during crisis and guide them to be the best they can become. Leaders don’t need to be told, they already know what needs to be done, they seek to identify the strengths of their people and they capitalize on those attributes not only to make the best of the corporation but to develop those individuals who demonstrate leadership ability and will in the future run their organization. Good leaders do not forget where they came from and they understand to develop you have to mentor and stimulate the minds of different generations, and they educate themselves in order to help others grow and become the best they can become in their career development.

cherylruan
cherylruan

I identify a leader by a person leading by example. They do not need to be asked what to do if they see something that has to be done and isn't apart of their job they will do it anyways. Also, they need to be a team player without that no one will "recognize you." The person also needs to stand out in the way that they enjoy the job; they might not have the best job in the world but keep their home/personal life at home and work here no matter how bad of a day its been. Also someone that has positivity in their life.

Greg
Greg

New Leaders need to be sensitve enough to understand people, inspiring enough to lead people, courageous enough to make tough people decisions, and strategic enough to know how to move forward.

Mike McRitchie
Mike McRitchie

The ability to get followers.

Leaders attract followers.

I look for those who others will work with and for. People instinctively know who is a leader or future leader and their actions point the way.

Great question.

Mike

Mike McRitchie
Mike McRitchie

The ability to get followers.

Leaders attract followers.

I look for those who others will work with and for. People instinctively know who is a leader or future leader and their actions point the way.

Great question.

Mike

Katie
Katie

I look for someone that can speak openly about their past mistakes. Assuming that they have clearly learned from them, this is a great indicator that they know how much they have grown in their field. Additionally, they are more apt to allow their employees to go down paths that may lead to "mistakes" from which they can learn.

Katie
Katie

I look for someone that can speak openly about their past mistakes. Assuming that they have clearly learned from them, this is a great indicator that they know how much they have grown in their field. Additionally, they are more apt to allow their employees to go down paths that may lead to "mistakes" from which they can learn.

M.F.
M.F.

Attitude is very important to us because if you don't have the right mindset you can not lead by example. Also someone who believes in accountability for themselves as well as those they supervise with the ability to communicate clearly to those around them. If your staff doesn't know the rules how can they play the game?

M.F.
M.F.

Attitude is very important to us because if you don't have the right mindset you can not lead by example. Also someone who believes in accountability for themselves as well as those they supervise with the ability to communicate clearly to those around them. If your staff doesn't know the rules how can they play the game?

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