How to Identify a Great Leader

Good morning!


“One day in your life. When you find that you’re always waiting….” Its a lyric from song of Michael Jackson. One day in your life, sooner or later, you need to replace a leader in organization with new one, fresh candidate from outside or promote from inside.

Its a challenge to know whether the candidate are ready or not for the higher position, especially for managerial role. It’s happen to me also. When I was promoted for managerial role at first time, I was not ready. It just happen without preparation for soft skill. I was capable for the knowledge, but lack of managing team and dealing with Board. It takes few months to learn and adjust my skill. On the other side, when recruit a new manager for my team, I had a difficulty to identify how ready the person was. When learn the resume and conduct short interview for candidate, sometimes there are something left behind that still bothering me. It’s still questionable for me and I bet for other people. This is a soft skill that we need to develop with.

Someday, I found a young kid who read comic book – Detective Conan.When read the book, his eyes and face are change. So, I stop by and asked him why. He said that someday would become a detective like Conan. He want to help people by having an ability to know there’s something wrong in a place andĀ  know how to solve it. I said to him, its a good reason. Keep it up!. Then I continue to walk and think about the young kid. He still young, but have a way of thinking like a adult people. He can see the big picture of his life and make it a goal of life. I bet someday he will become not only a good managerĀ  but a good leader.

It lead me to big question – How to identify the good manager plus a good leader?


So, I come to friend who have an consulting business in human resource and recruitment area. He said, there are several things that need to focus on at first time. The big point are having a knowledge for hard and soft skill.

  1. Delegation. Its a team work, not single fighter. They need to cooperate to make efficient and effective work. A peoples who are not ready tend to doing all task by them self and taking back the job that already given to the team. He think that the job can finish faster if do it by him self.
  2. Communication. True manager and leader have to listen, understand, and speak with all level – team member, and other stakeholder. A people who are not ready tend to just speak without listen, just want something without giving, and not trust the capabilities of the team.
  3. Management. It’s about managing resources – people, time, budget, method, etc. Manager need to be a project manager for the team. A person who are not ready tend to micromanagement the team, want the team follow him without expand their own capabilities.

Okay, I got it, but still want another answer. So, I come to several friends who are in charge with senior management role in banking industry. They curious why and I explain that I want to know what kind of indicator to become a good manager and leader, mapping it, and include it on my risk consulting area. They understand and in general, speak with me with a good answer.

  1. Interpersonal skill. How to interact with people, empathy, self-knowledge & awareness. This soft skill reach by professional experiences for many years and execute everyday. This skill would avoid micromanagement and unsure about team’s capabilities.
  2. Future oriented. It’s characteristic of true leader and heart of risk management in ISO 9001-2015. He need to understand about risk and caused of every action takes. E.g. if his project delay, can it impact to company’s goal? Also need to look beyond current role. It’s not about his taking additional role, but more to action needed. E.g. if his role as a project manager, what kind of value added can contribute to company? The candidate need to predict the future, mapping the big picture, and execute it well.
  3. Client’s need. In this case, client means a company, either internal or external candidate. Especially for internal candidate, he need to understand a culture, type of work colleagues, “politic”, limitation & challenges for the role, etc.

Okay, now I come to end of the road. It’s not song from Boyz II Men. I mean that this is the time to get a conclusion. In Risk Management, we need to identify, mapping, report, mitigate, and monitor any activities that lead into medium-high risk. There are several indicator that can be included on risk perspective and make us easier to identify the great manager and leader. The indicator could be in form of questions, KPI, etc. Now, we focus on questions.


A Company

Type of questions:

  1. What kind of value added on your role? **the purpose is to get forward looking and not only doing the job**.
  2. How to overcome obstacles and view of managing current team? **the purpose is to get understanding of managing resources and be a project manager**
  3. How to manage outside team and make them support you to understand more about organization and its management? **the purpose is to get level interpersonal skill and dealing with people outside your authority**
  4. Who other person that can endorse your capability for managing group of people and project? **the purpose is to get people power and charisma among peers**.
  5. What’s your plan in 5 years and how to achieve it” **the purpose is get future oriented and plan if gap arise from current to future/expected/promoted plan**.
  6. What your view about micromanagement? *the purpose is to get view of big-picture goal and level execution to get things done**.

In overall, leader should:

  1. Confident, Know what they are and stand for.
  2. Communicate and living their value, create certainty and trust.
  3. Commitment, Integrity and honest.
  4. Inspire and Lead by example.
  5. Listening and open communication.
  6. Delegate and create another leader.


A Family

Okay, what about in daily life? Do we see it in our children or peoples near us? Basically, its similar with above. I remember my friend who teach their children as a man and not as a boy, even from very young age.

  1. To create a confident, creativity, and communication, he ask his kids to always pro-active in class and join with many competition.
  2. To create inspire, listening, people’s power, managing resource, and team work, he ask his kids to participates on social contribution.
  3. To create future thinking, he ask his kids to create “journey of life”. It similar with book of life in movie “UP”.


There are so many ideas around us, but just focus on several thing first. Leader must living with values, lead by example, and future thinking.