Transcript: How To Spot Potential Leaders On Your Team

Chris LoCurto: Welcome to the show folks! Today we are talking about how to raise up leaders.

Where I crashed and burned in leadership

First I want to tell you about some crash and burns that I’ve had in my raising up leaders in the early days. I’m somebody who can see people’s potential. It’s something that God has just allowed me to be able to do my whole life. Or I could see that somebody can do something, somebody can pull something off, somebody can be great at something. I’ve been able to see that forever. It’s a discernment, and because of that, one of the things that I’ve been able to see for a long time in business, even in my early early days of leadership and I’ve been leading people since I was 21, I could see when somebody could be a leader. My problem was, back in those days, I could see that they have that potential and I felt that I needed to go and push the daylights out of them into this leadership role.

Now I would go in there and say, “You could be in leadership. Let me promote you, let me put you in this, in this role…” And unfortunately in my early days, what would tend to happen is, is the potential that I could see in somebody, they couldn’t see it in themselves. And so here I am really super excited about what they could be and what they could do, because I can see all this potential. But in the early days I would push them. And unfortunately that caused them to self sabotage because they weren’t ready. It’s happened to me. It probably happened at least twice. I don’t know if it’s happened three times, but by the time it happened the second time I was realizing…hey, you’ve got to stop. Quit pushing people into leadership when they’re not ready.

Instead, if you see it, that’s great. You can discuss it. You can, you know, help them, guide them, all that kind of fun stuff. But pushing them into something that they’re not ready for is a terrible idea. And so I can tell you that I made that mistake and started to realize that that’s not the best way to go about it. So if you’re somebody like me and there’s a few people out there that Kinda have that type of discernment where they can see people’s potential, then you have to first understand that pushing somebody into any role doesn’t matter what it is, is a bad idea. If they’re not ready for it, if they don’t want it, if they can’t see themselves in it, then that’s going to be a waste of time. And so those are a couple of mistakes that I’ve made on my end of promoting leaders.

The mistake so many leaders make…

I can tell you a mistake that a lot of leaders have made in raising up leaders, and it’s not even raising up leaders. It’s promoting people into a leadership role when they have no leadership abilities. The common place that people make this mistake is in sales. I cannot say it enough. Do not promote your best salesperson to sales team leader unless they are a great leader. Just because they’re great at selling does not mean that they can teach everybody else to do it, does not mean they can show everybody else how to do it, does not mean that they can lead at all, and people make this mistake over and over and over again. This person’s done a great job at pulling off the task of selling or Admin or whatever…so we should put them in a leadership role. What in the world makes you think that they can lead people?

What is telling you that they can lead people? So when you’re trying to raise up leaders, you have to be able to see that somebody can be a leader. So here’s what you need to be thinking about as a leader. What makes me think this specific person? Now think through, if you have a team member that you’re considering promoting to a leadership role, if you have that person in your mind, then this is excellent. This is exactly what I want you to do. Or if you’re not, but you have promoted somebody in the past that’s just not working out as a leader then great. I want you to think about this: “What makes me think that that person can lead somebody to success?” It’s your job as a leader to make your team successful, not the other way around. So with that in mind, what makes me think that this person or somebody I’ve hired in the past who’s not doing well as a leader, what makes me think that they can lead people to success?

What leading people to success is NOT about

Leading people to success is not telling people what to do, leading people to success is not having a title and everybody just follows you. As I say all the time, if you think that you’re a leader turn around. If nobody’s following you, then technically you’re not leading anybody. So you have to realize that you may be looking at somebody and you’re judging their leadership abilities, as I do my air quotes, by their ability to pull off the task in that area instead of, can they lead people? So start there. Ask that question. You know, as you look through team members, and by the way, also back it up even a little bit more, do you need to hire a leader? Is a leader somebody you need right now or is it just something that, “Well, Chris, you talk about creating layers of leaders and I just thought that I was supposed to do that.”

Well, if you don’t actually need somebody to lead people, then don’t hire them. Don’t promote somebody in that role, or many times what I have is I’ll have somebody that will say, well, this person wants more responsibility, and so I just decided I was going to make them a leader. Well, once again, that’s a bad reason for making somebody a leader. The reason you make somebody a leader is because there are people who need to be led to success, so some of the things that I want you to be thinking through and looking for it so that you prevent yourself from raising up people into a leadership role that shouldn’t be there. So when you start looking at a person asked the question: what is their DISC personality test? What is their Values profile? If you are not doing DISC and Values, why are you not? You should be doing this on every single team member and every person that you’re about to hire as well.

What is their DISC? Values profile?

Get this done. Now we have the DISC and Values in one profile. It’s called the DISC Plus, so Go into the store and get that done. Get it done for every team member, every team member. It tells you so much information… like if we’re looking at their Values, I’m going to give you just one example. If I’m hiring somebody in a leadership role, the first thing I’m looking at in their values is how high is their political. I want to know, and for those of you that may not understand it very well, political does not mean a like the political office. It’s talking about leadership. It’s talking about somebody who desires to be a leader who wants to be a leader. It’s talking about somebody who’s the buck stops here kind of person. So I’m going to go and take a look at what that level is, and depending upon the role, it depends on what kind of role this is…there’s a really good chance most of the time I’m going to want them to have a decent amount of political, but I’m going to look through there.

Every bit of their Values, their aesthetic, their individualistic, their economic. I’m going to go through every single one of these. Their theoretical. Their altruist. Their regulatory, their political. I want to see how this lays out to see how this person is going to treat other people. If I find somebody who is a super off the chart, economic and super off the chart, high political and has zero altruist, this is probably going to be somebody who is a pain. It’s very possible that this is somebody who is not going to care for the person. They’re only going to care about the result, so I want to look at the combination, see what they’ve got. I want to see if they’re crazy high theoretical.

I want to see if they’re crazy high regulatory. All of those pieces help me to decide whether or not I think that this person can be a leader. I want to look at their DISC and see what amount of D or I or S or C do they have in them. The last thing I’m gonna do is take a High I and put them over a bunch of High Cs. So they might be able to be a great leader, but if they don’t know how to lead Cs then it’s just going to be a waste of time anyways. I’m not saying that you have to line up, Cs have to lead Cs, but what I’m saying is you need to make sure that this person is set up correctly to lead the types of people that you have in that area.

So again, I’m not going to put a High I with no C or D over a bunch of High Cs. It would just be a colossal disaster. I’m probably going to look for somebody who has a good amount of C, but also probably a good amount of D. Hopefully they’ve got some I or S in there as well, so they’ve got some of that, you know, that people skill, but they have to understand those High C’s. They have to think like a High C. They have to think task. So I’m going to look for that. I’m going to see what kind of profile they have. I want to look at the characteristics that I want as a leader. You know, what characteristics do I want?

What direction are they leaning in?

I also want to see when it comes to DISC and Values, how well did they lean in the direction of others? So if they’re communicating, I want to see their communication style. If they are a High D High I, how did they communicate with High Ss? How do they communicate with High Cs? Do they just steamroll over them or just are they super dominant? Do they waste the High Cs time with tons of talk? I need to see those things. High Is are great at leading people with enthusiasm, but if they don’t understand the person they’re speaking to, they could also turn them off by having too much enthusiasm, right? High Ds can just dominate somebody like a High D and just telling them what they need to do, what they have to do, and completely not understand that this person has feelings. So you have to think about that, right? How do they treat people? Do they lean in their directions? Are they mature in their personality styles so that they don’t focus on their own personality styles, but they’re focusing on the other person’s personality style and how to lean in that direction.

I also want to see how they interact with other team members. I want to see how pleasant they are. Do they welcome people in the morning? Do they say hi? Are they just always head down never talking to anybody. How do they transfer information to somebody from a project? You know, if they’re working on a project, how do they communicate with that other team member? Anything that I can learn by their interaction helps me to see how they will lead people in the future.

How are they serving?

I also want to see, do they serve others? This is big for me. I cannot tell you how much joy I get out of watching my team. I cannot tell you how much joy I get when my team members are serving, other people are serving each other, you know, just taking care of people as they come in the building.

We do our own company StratPlan one to two times a year and we had a lunch brought in and Andrea is over there. She’s setting everything out. She’s taking care of making sure all the meals get done and this is somebody who puts on all of our events. So if you’re coming in for a StratPlan or Next-Level Life, this is the person who’s taking care of you on this, on the food side of stuff. And I’m watching her put out these little soup bowls and put the little spoons diagonal and make sure that everything is set up to just look great. So it’s aesthetically pleasing. It’s food. Those of us that have utilitarian in us. We’re like, hey, it’s just food. Throw it at me, I’ll shove it in and let’s get back on with the StratPlan. Right? So there’s about four people out there that understand what I’m saying. It was so great to walk over there and look at one of my team members, serving people, taking care of them, focusing on caring about how even the presentation of it looked. That to me is big. How do you serve others.

To use another great example from her is when we had some of our clients that were from Alabama that were up in here and it started to, it was going to snow later on that day and they’re like, Chris, can we get this event done earlier? They didn’t want to be on the road with snow coming down while I’m from snow country doesn’t bother me at all. Right? But for them, they’re like, nope, we got to get back to Alabama. So how soon can we end this event? Can we get this thing done? And so I had to kick into gear and get things done so that they could get out the door. Well, they missed their lunch so we got them out. I think it was like 12:00 or 12:30 so they could get on the road. As they came downstairs. Andrea had these nice little to go bags of food for them to take with them.

And I just stood there in awe of my team member. So happy to see how much she was serving somebody. These are the things you want to look for guys. If you have a leader who cannot serve, then what are you going to have? A dictator. This should be servant leadership. If you have somebody you’re thinking about putting in a leadership role and they don’t serve others, then it’s gonna be a miserable, miserable time with that leader or the so called leader because they are going to take advantage of situations, they’re going to dictate.

They’re going to be focused on themselves, which takes me to the next thing that I look at. How selfless or selfish are they? If they are selfish, I can promise you this. Every single thing about their leadership will be about them. It will always come back to them. It will always come back to the way that they lead. Eventually there will be victim mentality. They will throw team members under the bus. It will always come back to them. A selfless leader is focused on leading, making people successful, helping them to understand their role better, helping them to utilize tools better, helping to learn how to get past their own struggles. A selfless leader focuses on the person, so if they are selfish, this is once again going to be very difficult for you, because you’re going to spend a lot of time trying to solve their selfish problems, just not worth it.

It’s just not worth it. So instead be looking for somebody who is selfless. Alright, we’re going to talk about a bunch of more ways of how to spot leaders when we come back right after this.

Hey folks, I’ve got a question for you. Are you ready to join the tons of people who are absolutely making their life the best it can possibly be, the strongest it can possibly be? If so, then Next-Level Life is the next thing that you need to do. If you want to understand why you make decisions the way you do, how you make decisions, why you are where you are in life…if you’re stuck where you are, if you struggle with things like people pleasing or emotional abuse, or if on the other spectrum you’re having a phenomenal life and you just want it to be even stronger, even better, then you have to do Next-Level Life. Right now, go to, click on transform your life and get involved right away. You need to focus on: what’s their Values profile, what’s their DISC profile, how much do they lean on each other’s directions? How well do they interact with other team members? Do they serve, are they selfish and where they selfless? The next thing I want you to look at is how do they respond under pressure?

Handling Pressure

When pressure is on, a great leader, leads. So if you’ve got somebody who cannot handle pressure, guess what? When you put them in that leadership role, they’re not going to be able to handle the pressure. You’re going to have to spend all of your time solving the problems because they will tune out. They will stop operating well if they were operating well in the first place, they will get really super focused on themselves and or they will freeze. When you freak, you freeze, and if they freak out under pressure, then they will freeze. And they will stop at being able to solve problems, they will stop being able to guide people. You need to find people who can think on their feet. When pressure is on, how do they respond? Do they solve problems with the team or do they solve problems that take care of themselves? I am going through this book. I just started this. It was a great suggestion to me, called the Road To Character. One of the things he talked about, he talking about this fire that took place in this multistory building, I think it was like up on the sixth floor and the owner focused on putting out the fire.

It was in an old cotton mill or something like that, and so what the owner focused on, the leader of the business, he focused on putting out the fire. What should he have focused on in a six story building? Getting people out of the building, get them out of the building. Send people to go send people out of the building. Six story building. It’s going up super fast. You’re not going to put this out on your own. Get people out of the building. Many people died because they did not know. So many people ended up jumping out of windows and dying. Every single person who jumped out of window died apparently. That is not your focus. Take care of people. Pressure’s on. Now. Yes. Should you be trying to put out a fire? If you can, great.

If this is a small fire, but this is cotton that went up like crazy, you’re not going to take care of this. Get your butt out of there and get everybody else out of there. Save lives, take care of people right? Now, am I expecting that the person you’re looking at is going to have to save all of these lives? No, that’s not what I’m saying, but when you take a look at how they respond under pressure, if they focus on them, it’s going to be a disaster. If they focus on what’s important to them, like a building, it’s going to be a disaster.

Watch them in meetings…

If they focus on people than I can promise you, they’re most likely going to do the right thing at the right time. Next thing I want you to look at is how do they communicate in meetings? Guys, this is uber important.

If they cannot communicate worth a crud in a meeting, well, how are they going to communicate to their own team? How are we going to make sure that they’re leading their team with high levels of quality communication? The person who is short on communication, the person who holds back, the person who is protecting themselves and focusing on not getting in trouble because they said the wrong thing in a meeting or anybody who’s selfish on their communication is not going to lead well. You want to make sure that you have somebody who cares, that the people in the meeting are getting the information that they need. So in other words, High Ds out there. Many times y’all think that the meeting should be done the moment you got your information out or that you’ve received information that’s short and sweet, and we have multiple personality styles in the meeting.

Guess what? Everybody needs to be set up for success. So we need to make sure, did we communicate to the High D, the High I, the High S and the High C? Did we get them the information that they needed? Did we get them the information that they need in their role? How well does this person communicate? If they don’t communicate well, then they’re going to continue to not communicate well. What’s going to change that? You know, if there’s not something that can change that pretty quickly, then you’re going to have somebody who doesn’t communicate well to their team, and that is the biggest issue that we see in business. Communication, lacking high levels of quality communication is a huge issue. Every single one of our StratPlans, that’s the first place we start. Why? Because it’s the first thing that’s holding you back. If you can’t communicate well, we cannot get to the other bigger pieces.

Write down your list _________.

The next thing I want you to focus on, is, look at the characteristics that you want your leaders to have. Sit down right now. Unless you’re driving, don’t do that. When you can, sit down and write down the characteristics that you’re looking for in a leader. A great way to do this is to think about somebody that you believe is a great leader. If there’s somebody you look at and you go, okay, now this person that’s a great leader. Pick a great leader and write down the characteristics that that person has. What are those things that you see? Are they patient? Are they selfless? Are they moldable? Coachable? Teachable? Are they somebody who’s willing to ask questions? Are they curious? This is huge for me. Be Curious. Ask questions, ask a ton of questions. That’s how we gain quality perspective. Ask a ton of questions. Do they solve problems for the team?

Do they get in there and solve everything? And so they’re the hero? Are they the, are they the ones who do put out the fires left and right? Are they, if they are, then they probably start a few of those fires so they can put them out. Or are they somebody who teaches the team how to solve problems? I have a policy here where in the first 90 days I will help you. I will answer, I will solve anything until I see that you start taking ownership and solving problems yourself. And then I start backing away. But at 90 days, if you’ve not done that, guess what your next meeting with me is going to be, “How do you solve that?” “Well, I don’t know. That’s why I came to you.” “Okay, well, what are some ideas? What are some things we can do?”

You don’t want somebody who’s the know it all, if they know every answer to everything. People ask me, what’s the worst client you’ve got? And I’m like, it’s the person who knows everything or does not implement or is not coachable or teachable. That is the worst person to have in a leadership role. Why? Because everything is going to be focused on them. How is their accountability? Do they hold people accountable? Do they hold people accountable to KRAs? So the whole concept here is take a look at that great leader that you believe in, that you think, wow, that person has done a great job leading. Write down all those characteristics and qualities that you see in them. Are they patient? Are they kind? Are they loving? Do they have great fruits of the spirit? Are they gentle or do they have self control? Look for these things.

Write the things down that you want in a leader and then take a look at the person you’re thinking about or the people you’re thinking about and rank them and see what you think, right? Because if this is the person that you’re thinking of putting in a leadership role then they should have good characteristics, they should have good qualities, they should care about people, they should serve others well. If all of these things line up with the person you’re looking at, great. You may just have a leader. You may just have somebody you can raise up into a leadership role.Once again, what’s the most important question you need to be asking? What makes me think this person can lead someone to success? If you can answer that question well, and the answer is not because they do the task well, what makes me think this person can lead someone to success?

Answer that. If you come up with a phenomenal answer, then you just might have the right person to step up into a leadership role. All right? That is Part One of how to raise up leaders. Next week, we’re releasing an episode on how to train up leaders and prepare them to be successful. The steps to developing excellent leaders that’s coming up next week, so make sure that you don’t miss that. Now folks, if this podcast is helping you lead better, helping you grow, helping your family, please let others know so that they can see that same growth and learn what you’re learning. The best way to do that is to write a review on itunes for us. That helps us to get this message out when people are browsing podcasts, those reviews help them to find what they’re looking for, so let them know what you’re learning and what it’s doing for your life.

That will not only be a blessing to them, but it would also be a blessing to us because our goal is to change as many lives as we possibly can. So do me this favor. Go to itunes and leave a review for the show. I would greatly appreciate that. I just might include you on one of the shows. We’ve got a great one that came in from Josh, I believe it was josh had left us on iTunes and it said, Chris Inspires me to be a better leader, to become an entrepreneur and to chase after God as he leads me. I have seen my ability to lead a team and influence others grow as I follow Chris and his team. This podcast is a must listen if you want to help to elevate your team. Josh. Thanks, man. When I first read, that just blew me away, so I appreciate that. All right, well, hopefully this was helpful for you today. As always, take this information, change your leadership, change your business, change your life, and join us on the next episode.



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Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.

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