Searching For The Agile And Proven Leader

A special breed of leader

Global corporations are looking for a special breed of leader. Strategic priorities are framing ever more specialised requirements for new executive hires and the selective upgrading of existing management roles. Superior executive talent is increasingly seen as an important lever to calibrate investment in new markets, new products and new innovations.

With existing management teams stretched to capacity, the time has come to reinvest in high performers and to attract the kind of proven leaders who can effectively lead and inspire others while shouldering the pressure of increased performance expectations. Most companies are unwilling to place large bets on untested managers. Many are already searching for richly experienced leaders with a track record of making tough decisions that improve the bottom line.

Global business leaders in today's economic environment generally agree that, at least for the foreseeable future, business decisions will need to be made faster, teams will need to collaborate more effectively than ever, and data needs to inform decisions, not limit them. Today's search for business results is a search for both experience and agility.

Adjust, adapt and change course as and when necessary

Today's business mantra suggests that one thing is certain: leaders will be faced with more volatility, uncertainty, change, and ambiguities than they have faced before. This explains why there is such a large premium on the right mix of leadership experience and specialised know-how. Yet it is agility - the capacity to move quickly and easily through a potential minefield of business challenges - that is mounting in importance when it comes to finding and attracting business leaders who can make an immediate, as well as lasting impact.

The capacity to be open-minded enough to consider the full implications of their decisions and their interactions with colleagues, subordinates and customers is a critical leadership trait. Mental agility requires top leaders to abandon cognitive rigidity and absorb the full panoply of solutions to problems, especially those they have not encountered before.

While businesses around the world charge toward improved performance and results, they must demonstrate a willingness to test prospective new hires' true agility. After all, as the world we've known for so long changes so quickly around us, the very best executives will show they have what it takes to adjust, adapt and change course as and when necessary - and know when to stick to their convictions.


As passionate experts in the executive search and leadership consulting industry we build leadership teams for our clients every day. Learn more about TRANSEARCH International and our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition and management assessment.

Admitting Failure (And The Lessons It Provides) A Key Test Of Leadership Capacity

Beware the executive who can't describe their biggest business failures and who doesn't harbour some emotion about them, whether in the form of profound disappointment, frustration, regret or gratitude, perhaps.

While it may seem counterintuitive or selfishly counterproductive to any executive being interviewed for what could become their next management career opportunity, the collective insights of executive talent masters suggest getting the candidate to open up about their business missteps and what they learned from them - assuming they did - is a critical prerequisite for determining whether the individual is poised for success in a new leadership role.

Experience, is, after all, a great teacher. Imminent business decisions may summon the wisdom of smart manoeuvres that led to past glories, but they must also surface the lessons of poor judgments and outright flubs so they aren't repeated.

Executives unwilling or unable to detail at least one bad business decision during a recruitment interview actually relate volumes about their ego and lack of self-awareness, as do those who find themselves likewise challenged by an inability to spread the praise for excellent outcomes widely.

Of course, the real challenge of failure as set against today's contemporary business pressures is not only to learn from it but also to avoid the loss of energy and confident contemplation that can impinge on sensible decision-making.

In some sense, the lessons of failure are most instructive if leaders retain them in their collective memories, but also forget them just long enough so they don't become obstacles to personal and organisational growth.


As passionate experts in the executive search and leadership consulting industry we build leadership teams for our clients every day. Learn more about TRANSEARCH International and our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition and management assessment.

7 Rules For Attracting The Best Executive Talent

Hiring companies that understand the recruitment of senior business leaders is a two-way street will be in the best position to compete in an increasingly global war for executive management talent.

That is because no matter how bright the future prospect for your business, the most exceptional candidates for senior management roles will assess whether it has the right stuff to magnify their performance and thereby bolster their career.

Hiring organisations must offer these seven benefits to attract top business leaders and get them to stay and perform at peak levels:

  • A great story (they want to be part of something special, compelling strategy)
  • Brands/products/services that are admired/profitable/have staying power (they want a platform for long-term growth)
  • An environment that speaks to personal growth (get better at what they do)
  • Work that has meaning (that's makes a difference)
  • Chance to join an inspirational leader (reputation for doing the right thing)
  • Wealth creation (financial security)
  • Effective board governance (leadership that takes governance seriously)

The first proactive step employers can take to spark the kind of gravitational pull necessary when it comes to attracting the best management talent is to develop a talent scouting strategy that can also evolve into a succession risk management tool.

The increasing globalisation of business and of employers both large and small pose significant questions about whether an organisation can leverage the same assets to attract exceptional management talent in other regions of the world. Creating the right compensation framework is a necessity to engage top leaders, but their fit has much more to do with their sense of satisfaction in a new environment.

Companies that assume they can attract great executive leaders are often the ones that can't make their own business case to potential recruits and who fail to attract the highest calibre management candidates in the first place.

The bar on what it takes to attract the best talent is being pushed higher. When and how employers recognise that and whether they stay or get in the game are issues that will surely redraw the competitive business landscape for years to come.


As passionate experts in the executive search and leadership consulting industry we build leadership teams for our clients every day. Learn more about TRANSEARCH International and our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition and management assessment.