Every entrepreneur knows a story about an apparent superstar who seems to have all the traits of your next team leader, but never seems to pan out. Every entrepreneur also knows a story about a person that seemed average in every way and turns out to be an incredible producer.

Predicting a team member’s success in business or sales is an inexact science at best. It can be difficult to determine who will have it what it takes and who will not. In a Harvard Business Review article by author Daniel Goleman, he says, “…identifying individuals with the “right stuff” to be leaders is more art than science. After all, the personal styles of superb leaders vary: some leaders are subdued and analytical; others shout their manifesto from the mountaintops. And just as important, different situations call for different types of leadership. Most mergers need a sensitive negotiator at the helm, whereas many turnarounds require a more forceful authority.”

In his article, Goleman tries to determine what traits a leader has to help identify them within your organization, but he emphasizes that, “Effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of emotional intelligence.”

In the coming days I will explore more of what Goleman and others have to say about identifying leaders. Although it is hard to put a checklist together, I believe it is possible to start improving how to find the right people who qualify to lead others.