Business success is a direct reflection of the leaders that oversee the organization. It's in a firm's best interest to put the "right" players in the place to grow and sustain the company. It is essential to recognize that the best person for the job isn't always the one that has been in it the longest or the one that looks best on paper. Here are 10 key questions, based on position-person fit, that can be used to assess your current leaders and assist in the selection of those to come:
1. The leader works to understand their industry and contribute to its evolution through their company's work? You want leaders that are sincerely interested at the work at hand and those can become movers and shakers within their industries.
2. The leader communicates the firm's vision and strategies and helps their team to better understand how they contribute to the achievement of Company goals? You want leaders that understand, buy-into and can communicate the firm's strategies to their people.
3. The leader demonstrates executive presence and is comfortable working at all levels of an organization? You want leaders that have the poise and confidence to be effective in all circumstances.
4. The leader is an exceptional trust-builder? You want leaders of high integrity that you can be counted on.
5. The leader inspires followership and can build a strong team around them? You want leaders that people want to work for and with.
6. The leader is a thought leader that can introduce new ways of "thinking" and "doing"? You want leaders that are always pushing to be better.
7. The leader is an outstanding communicator, skilled at both listening and messaging? You want leaders that can communicate effectively, so that there is no doubt about what is important.
8. The leader routinely provides feedback and coaching to their team? You want leaders that are always working to make their team better.
9. The leader rewards outstanding performance and knows how to reward the "right" people? You want leaders that recognizes talent and rewards people based on results, and, not on effort or out of favoritism.
10. The leader can demystify complex concepts and teach them to their teams? You want leaders that can teach people how to be the best that they can be.
To close, these 10 questions are essential in the assessment of leaders. However, they are not intended to represent the full suite of questions needed to do a thorough evaluation. I share them here to get you started. These can be leveraged in a variety of ways, including within a "360-evaluation" format, by management team survey, or, simply used as an interview script by a hiring manager / hiring committee. And, of course, a rubric is needed to properly weigh each assessment question and objectively establish a relative leadership score for each person being assessed.
With that, I wish you the best of luck with your leadership assessment work and, remember, that there are firms and automated tools out there that can help you with this critical endeavor - so, there's no need to go it alone!