Your sales team probably has a few hidden leaders—employees who provide leadership but without the formal title or authority. They get their jobs done and are well-liked by their peers. These hard workers contribute much to your team’s success and should not remain hidden. By actively looking for leaders in your team and raising their visibility, you can help develop and maximize their talents.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, Joel Garfinkle, a top leadership coach, sheds some light on the leaders who may be hiding in plain sight at your company.

1. The worker bee. These employees often quietly do their jobs without needing much oversight or asking many questions. Their team members count on them to deliver on their responsibilities on time and on budget. While worker bees often meet every expectation, Garfinkle says they are also often overlooked and sometimes forgotten when applauding a victory. While they may prefer to stay out of the spotlight, you should still take time to thank them and show your appreciation for their valuable contributions.

2. The second mate. While not the captain of the ship or even the first mate, the second mate serves an important role in navigating the course. These team members probably provide specialized knowledge at your organization. They may not work in highly visible leadership positions, but they bring crucial skills to the table. Garfinkle urges leaders not to overlook the second mates among their team.

3. The sidekick. Consider those employees who may not have an outgoing personality or who may not get much time to speak in meetings. They may not get the visibility that those bigger personalities get, even though they do similar work and get similar results. Garfinkle says it’s frustrating to be viewed as a sidekick—someone who is highly capable on their own but gets overshadowed by someone else. Some of your best leaders might be sidekicks.

4. The philanthropist. These are the people on your team who tend to give away the credit for success. Rather than celebrating their victory, they downplay their role and turn the spotlight on others. While humility is important, these workers often sabotage themselves by minimizing their contributions. Garfinkle says leaders should look for the philanthropists on their team. Chances are, they are doing exceptional work but give the accolades to their colleagues.

5. The sentry. These employees tend to be focused on work, seldom taking a break to join others for coffee or lunch. As such, Garfinkle says they deliver superior results but aren’t visible unless someone specifically seeks them out. The sentry makes valuable contributions but may never advance in their career if no one notices their efforts.

Hidden leaders are likely all around you. Imagine what would happen if you work to raise their visibility, increase their influence and change any misperceptions about them. Take time to cultivate those talented individuals on your team who may not have an official leadership position but bring tremendous value to your organization.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 leadership coaches in the U.S. As an executive coach, he has worked with many of the world’s leading companies, including Google, Amazon, Starbucks, Deloitte, Cisco Systems and The Ritz-Carlton.