In every organization, there are two kinds of people who contribute the most to its success by their actions. The first kind consists of those who work hard, very hard to achieve the goals and targets set for them. They are good at their jobs, competent, meticulous, careful and sincere. They give their best and more to see that they carry out their duties assiduously. Their work is above par and they are much valued in the organization.

They are the worker-bees of the organization.

The second kind of people has all these qualities and a bit more – they also have the qualities that make a good leader, which the other type does not have. These are the potential leaders who can take the business to greater heights.

Who belongs to which group

So how does an organization figure out who belongs to which group? They need to identify the two types so that their personnel policies regarding recruitment, training, retention can be geared to benefit the individuals (in a role-appropriate manner) and the business.

Potential leaders are worker-bees plus and the following tips may help to differentiate between the two.

Those who are assertive

 Potential leaders are those who are assertive. They take the initiative to do things that they think are good for the business. They anticipate possible negative situations, they analyse the case and take decisions so that the problem is averted. In other words they act like would-be leaders.

The worker-bees wait for the problem to occur, then they do everything they can to solve it. They follow orders and then do what has to be done. They do not take major decisions on their own.

Those with that special spark in them

It has been said that leaders are born, they cannot be created. That is true. Only those with that special spark in them have the capability to become “the boss”. Worker-bees on the other hand do not want to become leaders. They are satisfied being the people who help the boss achieve business targets. They are the foundation on which the leader can build the castle of success. Without them the leader cannot progress far because leaders can exist only if they have followers, who are loyal, genuine, reliable and diligent.

Leaders think ahead and do more than their share of the work, they concentrate on “their team” not only on themselves. They are enterprising – looking for situations where they can do the business good and can showcase their prowess as leaders.

Act on their weaknesses

Potential leaders are open to criticism – they act on their weaknesses, especially those that have been brought to their notice by their seniors. They learn from their mistakes, correct themselves and perform better the next time. They do not repeat the same mistakes (they may make new ones!). Their objective is to improve their capabilities and performance, not find excuses for what has gone wrong.

Worker-bees are very competent in their work. They become the best at their particular jobs. They know more than the others about what they are doing and they aim to be seen as being the best at their work.

Potential leaders go a few steps further. They do the best they can at their jobs, true. But their aim is not just their own performance, but also the overall result of the business. They perform excellently but they ensure that it also translates to the business reaching further on the road to success.