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Profiling a Leader: Why should you do it?

We all know how important leaders, and the development of leaders is to any organisation. Having strong leadership in your business helps you maintain morale and motivation, drives your business forward, helps increase productivity and effectiveness as well as staff retention and helps you share the purpose and vision of your business to your team and the outside world.

Whilst natural leaders will emerge in your business, developing and nurturing leadership is key to set you apart. You can do this in any number of ways – personal mentoring and coaching to potential leaders, workshops, training and development programmes – but something that is crucial to the success of these things (which is often overlooked) is what kind of leader you’re actually trying to develop.

Ask yourself – who do you want your leaders to be?

As with any kind of strategy – be it training, leadership, marketing or otherwise – you can only measure your success if you know what you’re aiming for. For your business growth, it might be a certain revenue target; for a new marketing campaign it could be hits to your website; and for leadership development, a key metric of success is determining what kind of leaders you want to produce.

Creating a profile of the leaders you want and need in your business before you construct your leadership development programme is paramount for the programme to actually work. This helps you to design your training and development in such a way that you produce the leadership your business needs to move forward.

What should you include when profiling a leader?

There’s lots to think about when it comes to creating a profile of a leader for your business, and it’s important to remember you can’t list a number of attributes and expect to find that all in one person. This process is just about identifying what you need from the leadership in your business for it to be successful.

Here’s some things to think about:

  • What knowledge, skills and abilities will your leader need to succeed? This could change between each individual leader and the department they’re in. Are there specific hands-on skills they need to understand? Every leader needs soft skills too, like communication and emotional intelligence, but which are you focused on achieving? Are there certain processes in your business they need to know inside out?


  • What behaviours do they need to demonstrate daily?


  • What level of performance should they be at? Of course you want all team members to be performing well, but are you looking for people to lead from the top down or drive forward from the ground up? Is it about making big decisions or delivering excellence in everyday tasks? Not all leaders have to be the boss, and in fact your company should have leadership at every level.


  • Ultimately, and this is a big one, what impact do you want the leader to have within your organisation?


How do you profile a leader?

There’s a few different methods and approaches you can take to profiling the next leaders for your business. Whilst you (whoever you are!) should have a clear idea of the vision and values of the business, and what you want the leader to achieve, consider speaking to those who will work with this person most closely, people in the organisation who might know more than you about what you need in certain areas.

Identifying and interviewing existing leaders in your company could also be majorly beneficial – what is it about these people that make them leaders? How did they get to where they are? What impact are they having that you want to replicate across the business?

And, when it comes to putting together a finalised profile, it’s important for all stakeholders – both in terms of the business and in terms of interest and relationship with the leader you’re looking for – to work together to agree on what you’re all looking for, and create a combined vision of the perfect leader.

Leadership is a tricky thing to grasp, to find and even harder to develop, but working to profile what you’re actually looking for from it before you begin is a great way to ensure you succeed. Talk to us today about leadership in business, and our training and development programmes to help you find and nurture it!


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