Recognizing quiet leadership potential

Photo by: Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

Certain personality traits and characteristics are associated with leadership potential. The dominant thinking is that extrovert or charismatic people make for strong leaders — and this is not something unique to the development sector, explained Girish Menon, chief executive of ActionAid UK.

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Menon’s team has been making a conscious effort to change perceptions of leadership and to recognize and nurture different forms of leadership potential. As a result, there has been more diversity in those applying for jobs and making it through the door at Action Aid, he said. A more diverse group of staff have also demonstrated confidence in going for more senior roles, he continued.

About the author

  • Emma Smith

    Emma Smith is a Reporter at Devex. She covers all things related to careers and hiring in the global development community as well as mental health within the sector — from tips on supporting humanitarian staff to designing mental health programs for refugees. Emma has reported from key development hubs in Europe and co-produced Devex’s DevProWomen2030 podcast series. She holds a degree in journalism from Glasgow Caledonian University and a master's in media and international conflict. In addition to writing for regional news publications, she has worked with organizations focused on child and women’s rights.