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Leadership Hiring 101-Finding the best fit for your Organization

As stated by LinkedIn 69% of millennials claim that leadership development is lacking in the workplace.

You might have always heard some of your colleagues, friends, family members, or even yourself complain about how frustrating your manager is.

We all sometimes complain about how terrible our boss is!

This happens due to a lack of leadership hiring, and we all are struck inside this terrible loop of complaints.

Efficient recruitment strategies can help evaluate candidates' skills and character traits and assess whether they have what it takes to be a leader.

Through this blog, you will understand the 5 things to keep in mind for leadership hiring.

What is Leadership Hiring?

Let’s break down the word for a better understanding. 

A leader is a person who leads, guides, or coaches a group of people, an organization, or a country.

Hiring means recruiting individuals from a talent pool for a specific job or role.

Leadership hiring involves identifying, attracting, and selecting senior professionals or executives.

They hold the abilities, backgrounds, and character traits necessary to guide a team toward success. It entails looking for elite talent with the ability to lead teams, make strategic decisions, and move the organization on the right path.

Leadership Hiring Importance

According to  LinkedIn 83% of companies believe developing leaders at all levels is essential.

Types of Leadership Styles

In 1939, psychologist Kurt Lewin headed a team of researchers who documented various leadership styles. They recognized three main categories. We will look into the pros and cons of each leadership style.

1. Authoritarian/Autocratic Leadership

Pros: This style is helpful to leaders when they need to make quick decisions, and also while dealing with new employees who might need strict supervision.

Cons: These kinds of leaders are not flexible enough to be open to the ideas of others. 

2. Participative/Democratic Leadership

Pros: These kinds of leaders make their team members feel valued and empowered. Participative leadership is an ideal approach for a well-established organization looking to expand in new and creative directions.

Cons: This leadership style can be expensive and inefficient. It’s time-consuming as the leader analyzes the opinions of every employee before making a final decision.

3. Laissez-Faire/Delegative Leadership

Pros: It’s a good leadership style for a startup. This kind of leader trusts their employees to get the job done. The leader does not impose any regulations about work hours, office behavior, or work location.  

Cons: It hinders employee growth and limits the opportunities for the company’s growth. It lacks structure and creates misunderstandings among employees about who is in charge. 

In 1996, Daniel Goleman identified six other leadership styles that rely on a leader's capacity to impact team members' emotions. We will look into the pros and cons of each leadership style.

4. Coaching Leadership

Pros: Coaching leadership inspires team members who value being part of a cohesive group. Team members are given clear expectations, resulting in talented, productive individuals who can go on to train others.

Cons: Organizations that need quick results should avoid coaching leadership because it demands patience. Coaching leadership is only effective if team members are willing to work with this type of leader. If there is no team cohesion, this type of leadership will fail.

5. Visionary Leadership

Pros: The visionary leader focuses on the reward. They are not disheartened by small setbacks. These leaders excel in devising strategies to deal with crises and unanticipated difficulties.

Cons: Short-term thinking is frequently problematic. The difficulty is that visionary leaders' personalities can overshadow a company's aims and identity, making it all about them.

6. Democratic Leadership

Pros: The democratic leadership approach promotes creativity and innovation. It fosters teamwork and increases employee engagement. Employees are accountable and provide high-quality results.

Cons: Democratic leadership can take a significant amount of time. If a democratic leader rejects the group's input and the decision turns out to be incorrect, they will lose the group's trust. Democratic leaders might be overly collaborative and lack decisiveness.

7. Affiliative Leadership

Pros: These kinds of leaders provide constructive feedback to team members, hence they feel less stressed and are willing to spend more time helping each other.

Cons: Affiliative leaders may be hesitant to criticize to protect the value of the relationship. If the leader fails to properly define team members' roles, they will not work as hard as they should. Team members may also grow overly attached to an affiliative leader. If that leader leaves the team, forms a new team, or takes a new job, the former team may feel abandoned.

8. Pacesetting Leadership

Pros: Pacesetting leadership enables leaders to spot problems and offer answers quickly. Their performance-oriented teams can be placed in situations that require high-performing adults.

Cons: Pacesetting leadership can result in stressed and disengaged teams with low morale. Leaders are slow to praise, regardless of whether a job is done well. Team members may feel overly controlled if the leader corrects every minor mistake.

9. Commanding Leadership

Pros: Commanding leaders set clear expectations, which improves performance. Team members lacking abilities or expertise respond strongly to assertive leadership.

Cons: Team members frequently hesitate to make even minor decisions on their own, resulting in production delays. Commanding leaders do not encourage or value creativity.

10 Characteristics of a Good Leader 

  1. Empathy: An empathetic leader can connect with their team members at a personal level, fostering support and inclusive working environments.

  2. Effective communication: A good leader should be an active listener and should make sure their message is clear and understandable.

  3. Visionary Thinker: A leader should articulate the vision in a way that inspires and motivates the team to work towards common goals.

  4. Integrity: Honesty and strong ethics are necessary. A leader with integrity fosters trust and offers a good example for others to follow.

  5. Accountability: A good leader recognizes their own mistakes and encourages others to do the same, hence promoting a culture of learning and growth.

  6. Adaptability: A flexible leader is required to adjust to changing circumstances and provide pivot strategies to achieve objectives.

  7. Decisiveness: A good leader is confident in their choices and takes responsibility for the outcomes.

  8. Inspiration and Motivation: A good leader encourages the team, recognizes their efforts, and helps them realize their potential.

  9. Patient: Being a patient leader does not imply being passive or accepting slow outcomes. Instead, it means that you are willing to gently lead and nurture others around you, allowing them to be the best version of themselves in a positive and encouraging environment.

  10. Commitment to Development: A good leader is dedicated to both personal and team development. They invest in learning, offer possibilities for growth, and encourage continuous development.

8  Things to keep in mind for Leadership Hiring

1. Understand and prioritize your needs or requirements

The very first step in leadership hiring is to understand and prioritize the company’s

requirements. Assess your current leader’s strengths and limitations to frame the hiring


Knowing the gaps in your company will help you understand the areas for improvement

and help you hire the right individuals.

2. Lay down a Suitable Budget

It's essential to provide competitive pay to recruit and retain outstanding leaders. Regularly review and adjust your pay scale. Perhaps a better question to ask yourself when determining what you can afford to pay a competent candidate is what it might cost your company to have less-than-ideal management in the role.

3. Conduct Behavioural and Situational based assessments

Through such an interview process, you can easily identify the leadership, decision-

making and problem-solving skills and attributes of the candidate. 

It will help you assess the candidate’s competencies and thought process.

4. Evaluate Cultural Competency

During the interview process make sure to analyze the individuals' values, work ethics, and leadership style to ensure cultural fit.

This will result in a collaborative and harmonious management team that functions well together.

5. Prioritize Internal Promotion

 Every employee within your organization would want to grow within the company. Utilize this opportunity, identify those leaders within your employees, and help them cultivate that.

This will help you retain your employees and allow them to stay loyal to the company. 

6. Define the Role and Expectations

Define the position's responsibilities, aims, and objectives. It will ensure that the individuals you evaluate are appropriate for the position. 

This clarity will help you recruit applicants that share your organization's mission. Additionally, having the required abilities and expertise to succeed.

7. Carefully Check Candidate References and background

Invest in background and reference checks, even if they are time-consuming. Aside from references, check for additional sources of information that can help determine a new leader's suitability. Has the candidate written an article or articles? Has it been featured in a webinar or cited elsewhere? Look for thought-provoking examples to ensure that your potential leader is the best fit for your company.

8. Check for Resources Available

Be mindful of checking your available resources before hiring a leader. You should have  

a suitable salary budget as well as a compensation package to offer a suitable leader. 

Examples of companies that took off after hiring exceptional leaders

1. Microsoft and Satya Nadella

Situation Before:  Before Satya Nadella took over in 2014, Microsoft was experiencing stagnation, missed opportunities in mobile and internet services, and a fairly conservative corporate culture.

Leadership Change: Satya Nadella was named CEO in 2014.

Impact: Nadella concentrated on cloud computing, which led to the success of Azure, and altered the company's ethos toward openness and cooperation. Under his leadership, Microsoft adopted a cross-platform strategy and acquired key acquisitions such as LinkedIn and GitHub. This resulted in a significant boost in market value and innovation.

2. IBM and Lou Gerstner

Situation Before: In the early 1990s, IBM was on the verge of bankruptcy, battling with decreasing profits and outdated business practices.

Leadership Change: Lou Gerstner was hired as CEO in 1993.

Impact: Gerstner moved IBM's focus from hardware to services and software, establishing a client-centric culture while lowering expenses. His revolutionary leadership transformed IBM into a premier IT services firm, rescued it from bankruptcy, and prepared it for future growth.

3. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Ratan Tata

Situation Before: Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) was viewed as a struggling brand with financial challenges and unclear direction.

Leadership Change: Ratan Tata's creative leadership led Tata Motors to acquire JLR in 2008.

Impact: Ratan Tata's leadership prioritized maintaining JLR's legacy, giving financial assistance, and developing a decentralized strategy that allowed JLR to function autonomously.

4. Ford Motor Company and Alan Mulally

Situation Before: In 2006, Ford was struggling financially and losing market share due to the global financial crisis.

Leadership Change: Alan Mulally was hired as CEO in 2006.

Impact: Mulally developed the "One Ford" strategy to unite global operations, streamline product lines, and focus on core brands. His strategic innovations and cost-cutting strategies helped Ford avoid bankruptcy, return to profitability, and recover competitiveness in the automotive industry.

5. Pepsico and Indra Nooyi

Situation Before: PepsiCo's portfolio included non-core businesses such as KFC and Pizza Hut. The company was essentially a traditional beverage corporation operating in a market that was becoming increasingly worried about health and environmental issues.

Leadership Change: Indra Nooyi became CEO in 2006, bringing a global perspective.

Impact: Nooyi's strategy restructuring included divesting non-core businesses and acquiring health-focused brands such as Tropicana and Quaker Oats. She promoted "Performance with Purpose," which emphasizes sustainability and healthier products. Her leadership also prioritized diversity and inclusion, developing PepsiCo into a diversified food and beverage conglomerate poised for long-term success.

6. Tesla and Elon Musk

Situation Before: In 2008, Tesla was experiencing major financial issues and manufacturing challenges.

Leadership Change: Elon Musk became CEO in 2008.

Impact: Musk's vision for electric vehicles, advancements in battery technology, and aggressive production scaling propelled Tesla to the forefront of the automotive industry. Under his leadership, Tesla became well-known for its cutting-edge technology and had a huge impact on the global shift toward sustainable energy.

Key Insights

  • Implement leadership hiring practices to retain your employees.

  • Always recall these 8 things before conducting the recruitment.

  • Hiring a leader would help the subordinates feel motivated and inspire them to work.

In the comments, let me know what is your opinion about leadership hiring?

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