As a manager, you have more than just one role
Working as a manager today not only involves assuming one role – a manager’s title encompasses several roles. So a number of different skills and types of behaviour are needed depending on the situation. An existing challenge for a candidate entering an executive position for the first time is being able to discard the characteristics and routines relied on in previous roles and instead embrace the new skillsets needed in the managerial role.
The obvious choice can turn into a failure
Here’s an example of how an executive recruitment can proceed. As the main recruiter, you have been tasked with finding a marketing director. We’ve listed some of that person’s personal and professional traits:
- Strong belief in own objectives
- Skilled at speaking in public
- Inherent drive to succeed
When you look at these characteristics, you’d think you would have found an excellent match, wouldn’t you?
But, it can be a complete disaster. In this example, the person in question was handed an executive position but was totally mired in his old habits as a speaker and salesman. He got caught up in his own need to be seen and heard, in reaching his own goals and satisfying his own need for affirmation. This resulted in numerous disagreements, contradicting demands and poor decisions.
Instead, this person needed to be able to shift focus and goals depending on the situation and person, and rely on a more analytical ability to understand the overall situation. Also, he lacked the ability to distance himself and energise others, since he was completely focused on his own objectives.
Sometimes the best choices are the people not seriously considered
In this example, we present a candidate for the job of IT manager. In her previous job, she was happy working in her comfort zone. She kept doing what she did best and had no previous experience as a manager. Here are some of the candidate’s personal traits:
- Expert in her own field
- A good listener
Chances are, you would be a little put off thinking that the candidate did not have the people skills needed as a manager. But in this example, she got the job and turned out to be perfect for it. To start, this person really was an expert in her field and understood her staff and the situation they were in. But also, she is an introvert which means that she is observant, a good listener and can act as a problem solver. Her analytical side enables her to focus on the person, the entire organisation and understand the overall picture.
To sum up, we advise you to take your time in considering the characteristics and traits needed for various executive jobs. It could be the deciding factor in how well you succeed in your recruiting.