The New Non-Negotiables for Executives: Self-Awareness, Vision and People Skills
Leadership over the last few decades of has often been dominated by logical, linear capabilities, a top-to-bottom mentality and seniority. If you wanted to be a CEO, you often needed to be able to show that you had done the job well, told others how to do it, and done it for a long time.
The same was true in the world of sport, and not only at the highest levels. I certainly know I had a few coaches with that approach. But leadership is about more than knowing how to do the job and telling those ‘below’ you what to do and when.
The future belongs to a different kind of leader with an additional set of abilities. Self-awareness, vision and people skills are no longer traits that make executives stand out from the pack – they are prerequisites.
At Ccentric, we’ve been placing top executives in the fields of healthcare, academia and life science, I can tell you that two people with a similar track record and IQ can produce markedly different results as leaders.
Professionals in these fields are motivated by improving lives, so CEOs need to have the emotional intelligence to connect with this higher purpose and inspire others. CEOs need to turn their vision into motivation. It’s one thing to paint the picture – it’s another to bring it to life.
Our philosophy for pairing candidates with opportunities is reviewing their track record, interviewing and testing their leadership competencies, and then finding the appropriate referees who will give accurate, valid, reliable feedback.
For example, when placing the CEO at an Australian hospital that will oversee 25 per cent of all births in a state, you want to be sure that the person hired can not only ‘do’ the job, but that he or she has the self-awareness, vision and people skills to lead their group forward.
Leaders need to be creators, empathisers, pattern recognisers, and meaning makers. Those who can invent, tell a story and capture the big picture are often the right people for the job, as the world moves away from a leadership model built largely on technical capabilities to one built on the inventive, empathic, and future-focused executive
Such traits are no longer negotiable.