How do we know when we’ve found a great leader? What differentiates the effective leader from the high performer, the effective manager, the superb executor? The great leader is the proverbial needle in the haystack. But when you know what sets them apart, they can be identified with confidence.
What defines a great leader? The answer is surprisingly simple: followers. There is great wisdom in that observation. Leaders engage in five consistent and specific behaviors that create followership, transformation and value:
It takes a well-tuned ear to find leaders who transform business performance and value. We listen for what is said-and for what isn’t said. We listen for what they care about, who they care about and what they ask about—and what they don’t.
We explore our candidates’ leadership histories and listen carefully to the details of exactly what the candidate did and why they did it. Did they define where they were going up front, before they started? Did they set defined results? Who helped them in their journey? How did they build that connection? Did they put their personal agenda first—or the needs of their business and stakeholders?
We look for a willingness to say, “I’m great at X” and “I’m not as effective at Y” and what they did to leverage those strengths and make sure their weaknesses were addressed by others. “I have a problem taking on too much” doesn’t count as a weakness! Without personal candor, no leader can be truly great: because they aren’t even leading themselves.
When you know exactly what you are looking for, great leaders sparkle like diamonds. We know where to mine them and when we’ve found a great one for our clients.
Courtesy of Jim Lynde