When we sit down and reflect on the year to come, finding success as an executive in 2019 relies on the ability to drive success for our organizations. For some companies, success might be increasing profit margins. For others, it might be adding customers, products and/or people in the new year. Wherever your priorities may lie, the first step in your 2019 journey is to define what “winning” looks like for your organization.
It is your responsibility as an executive to develop a roadmap for how your organization will achieve this success. After years of serving executive teams, both internally and as an advisor, I’ve learned that three of the most critical components needed for executives to succeed are: Finding, Strengthening and Growing leaders whose experience, strengths, and values align with your organization — and who will empower your people to “win”.
Finding Transformational Leaders
The first step towards achieving success is finding the right leaders for your organization. At The Human Capital Group, we utilize our Transformational Leadership Model to identify the functional, cultural and organizational requirements that are unique to each role.
Functionally, your team should be assessing candidates based on the core skills and experiences essential to create a competitive advantage. Does he/she have the depth and breadth of experience needed to excel in the role? Does he/she have the skills required to lead the strategies your organization must deploy? Do the soft skills he/she possess align with the essential leadership traits for the role?
Identifying the cultural elements of executive success can prove to be more challenging. It is imperative that the executive team is aligned on the cultural values of your organization, as most agree that culture starts from the top. Incorporate behavioral-based questions into your vetting process and/or leverage personality assessments to ensure cultural alignment of a potential executive. Adding a new leader to your organization should only drive cultural strength, not weaken it.
Finally, when evaluating new executives for your team, we encourage our clients to reach for and dream big. Determine where your organization is during its growth trajectory and the larger goals you expect to achieve. Ask yourself, how will this executive support and lead these initiatives? A Chief Executive Officer leading a $40B company, for example, has a vastly different skill set than one leading a $50M one. Understanding where your organization is, and where it wants to go, will help you narrow the pool.
Strengthening Transformational Leaders
The second component of executive success is investing in your leaders. Transformative leaders are those who advance a company’s values and norms consistently, demonstrate its essential leadership qualities and develop expertise within their areas of responsibility that are competitively unique.
To build a high performance executive team, you must guide the development of the functional, cultural and organizational leadership qualities needed to be a lasting and transformative force within your industry. Organizations should aim to strengthen their executive leaders from day one by aligning these qualities through leadership integration programs, executive coaching and team-building exercises/retreats.
Growing Your Organization
Throughout 2019, all progressive companies and industries will undergo an amount of transformational change. To keep pace, successful executives need to formulate and follow a winning strategy that delivers organizational excellence and sustainable results. When developing your winning strategy for 2019, it must answer the following questions to align the functional, cultural and organizational objectives with talent development across your leadership team:
Functional Leadership: What are the essential functional skills and core competencies required for success in the new realities?
Cultural Leadership: Does our mission, purpose and values ignite and inspire the team to win? Are they stated in a relevant manner? Are they being consistently modeled across the entirety of the organization?
Organizational Leadership: Do we have the depth and breadth of the “right” kind of leaders to succeed in an industry undergoing transformational change? Have we defined what “right” looks like for all leaders? Do we measure this and provide constructive and developmental feedback?
As your organization continues to grow and develop in the upcoming year, intentional effort must be made to Find, Strengthen and Grow transformational leaders that will deliver lasting results. Reshaping your objectives and priorities to reflect functional, cultural and organizational priorities across these three components will take time, but aligning your winning strategy with your talent development will be well worth the investment!
Steve Hayes has been focused on helping organizations acquire, coach and develop leaders throughout his career in Human Resources. In 2000, he founded The Human Capital Group, an Executive Search and Leadership Advisory firm with Purpose: To Find, Strengthen and Grow transformational leaders that deliver lasting results.