The column executive briefing

Issue #5

In today’s highly dynamic marketplace how do you identify the leader and what do you look for that stands out from the crowd? Executive search consultants and their client companies look for much more than a first-class resume when identifying and evaluating potential leaders for any given role.

In addition to pure business skills, it’s actually the well developed intangible abilities that separate the true leaders from the “also-rans.” The following are a few examples of these key qualities:

* CHARACTER AND INTEGRITY: It is hard to define, but you know it when you see it. These executives have social poise – they never seem flustered or “out of control”, despite whatever business challenge or uncertainty they may face. This includes delivering straight talk on how they plan to keep their promise and why they think it’s important to honor promises made.

* COMMUNICATION: How a candidate speaks is often more “telling” than what they say. In other words, what’s the motivation behind their communication? They should be direct and avoid overloading the conversation with jargon.

* INNOVATIVE THINKING: Everyone is looking for original thinking. Companies want the benefits of change without the discomfort of the change process. Despite ambiguity, these leaders always find a way to move the organization forward and deliver results.

* CULTURAL FIT: Companies look for executives who share similar values, operational behaviors and attitudes about change. They are looking for team-oriented individuals that can bring new ideas that complement the overall corporate culture.

While top companies look to increase their commitment and investments to identify and attract world-class leaders, it’s important to consider these intangible characteristics when you’re thinking about taking that next step up the corporate ladder of success.