Being a leader means more than just fronting a business enterprise: you’re also head coach, recruiter, decision-maker, and more. The best ones are the glue that holds everything together and the oil that makes it run smoothly.
Efficient leaders must rely on an entire arsenal of skills and talents, but perhaps the most important of these is organization. From setting and meeting deadlines to simply keeping the paths clear for your people to do their jobs … all the way to keeping work spaces decluttered to reduce stress, every aspect of your job is affected by your organizational skill.
But sometimes, leaders find themselves in the position of LOOKING for leaders—that is, recruiting top talent to ensure growth and stability. How does one go about looking for a future leader? We have some suggestions that may help.
Professional doesn’t have to mean formal.
Taking a casual approach to the interviewing process allows for a more natural, free-flowing conversation, which is the best way to get to know an interviewee on a real-life basis. Going beyond the resume, as it were, provides a greater opportunity to tell whether the person will be a strong match with the company’s needs … and with the company’s culture.
Although a strong work ethic is one of the most important traits you should look for in a leader, being organized is also reflected in one’s ability to balance work and personal lives. Employees who can strike this balance are less likely to burn out, increasing the odds of them staying with the company for the long-haul.
Look everywhere (but look inside first).
When searching for a replacement for a successful leader, there is a tendency to seek out candidates that will serve as their predecessor’s replica. At the same time, some ruling boards automatically jump to for candidates outside of the organization. There’s something to be said for knowing the company well from Day One, but it’s nevertheless important to run simultaneous internal and external searches, judging all candidates against the same criteria.
Selective hiring, particularly in periods of growth, is essential for stability and sustainability. Hiring decisions may be influenced by what has worked in the past, but make sure you’re keeping the future needs of the business in mind. It may be tempting to with a familiar candidate, but new ideas may be exactly what your organization needs.
We can’t really stress this enough: Organizational skills are essential for leadership:
- Time-Management. Knowing how to manage time is critical when it comes to keeping everyone on task. Good leaders are aware of approaching deadlines and allocate resources to meet them. This allows everyone to stay on top of meetings, calls, and presentations.
- Physical Skills. As we mentioned earlier, a cluttered workspace causes stress. Loose papers lying around, pens and markers without a proper place, personal items strewn about haphazardly: these not only lead to misplaced items, they can also pose a security risk. Look for candidates that can present themselves and their work neatly and professionally.
- Resource Handling. When it comes to smooth operations, knowing where and how to use resources is paramount. The organized leader will have a history of knowing how to delegate tasks to others, rather than trying to handle everything solo. The best candidates will be able to demonstrate they know who to trust with what tasks, to make sure that everything is handled in an efficient manner.
As a leader, you should constantly be on the lookout for candidates who are adaptable and exhibit strong organizational skills. Such abilities are vital to an efficient and productive workforce; they can make or break a good team.