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EDGE: Emerging Leaders Series

Emerging Leaders, today’s young or inexperienced leaders, often face incredible challenges in the workplace and their careers. Between learning the technical elements of their new roles and taking on a previously untested skill of leading a team of people, many quickly spiral into a sea of confusion and frustration, and really struggle to make a positive mark on their organization. Often, the best performing individual contributors deservedly get promoted. But without the proper training that ensures any transferrable skills blend smoothly into the necessary new ones required to direct, inspire, and motivate a team, they start off on a rocky path. Doing well is not the same as leading well. It takes a focused approach by both the senior leaders, and the emerging leaders themselves, to make this transition smooth and impactful.

In Gapology, we write about a set of behavioral standards to consider and leverage to make an emerging leader's new career an immediate success. We call this EDGE. EDGE is an acronym that describes characteristics we’ve routinely witnessed in winning leaders, and understanding them and leveraging their power will lead to an impactful beginning to a future filled with endless possibilities.

Let’s review these tips.


Winning leaders display a clearly recognizable level of energy in their leadership. This energy is powerful, infectious, and inspiring. They speak with passion and confidence that is empathetic and purposeful. They move quickly but with intent. They are seen as direct and caring in a way that brings others along with them. An infectious level of energy is a critical element of their personal and professional brand.


Winning leaders make decisions quickly but purposefully. They are carefully aligned with their designed purpose, and that alignment is their compass that keeps them heading in a direction they believe in. Purpose and understanding the reasons for things give them clarity in times of conflict, confusion, or stress. Those volatile moments define a leader’s ability in the eyes of others, and having a clear and compelling purpose that is shared with the team makes correct decisions easier to see and choose.


Winning leaders aspire for greatness. They set it as their expectation, as well as for their team, supervisors, and overall organization. Greatness is the objective of every initiative, project, or result. When they fall short of that expectation, these leaders quickly analyze the behavioral elements and course-correct to minimize any negative impacts. No outcome but the very best is expected.


Winning leaders are exceptionally clear on expectations. They define the behaviors needed to win and the metrics needed to measure them. Their teams understand, agree, and are committed to achieving the expectations and look forward to seeing their results posted regularly through clearly laid out KPIs and scorecards. Winning leaders celebrate those on their teams who win and coach those who struggle, and they also seek their own learning opportunities by reaching out for help when needed to achieve the expectations.

We discuss many tips, tools, and methods in our books, blogs, and podcast that can all be applied by emerging leaders to help improve performance. Most of these are very tangible processes that can be applied and followed in very strategic manners. EDGE can be somewhat intangible in that much of this is very subjective. It can be difficult to measure energy, decisiveness, greatness, and expectations certainly, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be observed and strived for in the real world. Even if you consider yourself to be an introvert, stepping out of your comfort zone and leaning into these things can start to stretch your skills, build competence with them, and eventually establish a level of confidence that will be infectious to the rest of the team, and inspiring for yourself.

Lean into EDGE today and let us know how you do!

*Listen to our podcast discussion on this topic here:


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