The idea of a good leader often denotes someone who motivates and inspires their teams to be energized, hopeful, and motivated to perform well. These types of leaders not only build reputations among their leadership peers, but also among future candidates as someone they want to work for.
However, not all leaders possess the qualities needed to attract top talent.
Attracting high-performing, enthusiastic talent is a constant challenge in today’s competitive hiring environment. A strong executive team with genuine leadership goes a long way toward convincing that talent to join.
How would these strong, value-add leaders be described? What specific attributes and behaviors might be ascribed to them, and why? Here are three types of leaders that candidates want to work for:
1.They Empower Their Teams to Run the Business Like Their Own
This type of leader is brimming with confidence, the sort of confidence underpinned by quiet self-assurance and inner calm. They aren’t threatened by others’ talents and abilities; in fact, quite the opposite. They are drawn to those whose talents augment their own. They seek to buoy their enterprise value by leveraging team members’ strengths, talents, and contributions.
Seek Input: They reach out to direct reports for advice, input, and assistance on critical projects, and then actually listen and apply their employees’ valuable ideas. Moreover, they credit those staff members whose advice converts to tangible results by recognizing their achievements in front of their peers.
Empower With Stretch Goals: These leaders also see to it that their direct reports feel a sense of empowerment by assigning meaningful projects and stretch goals and then letting them run with it. This liberates the employee to architect the solution, applying their own unique talents in big-picture and detail-oriented orchestration.
Instill a Shared Vision: Moreover, these leaders have taken time to instill a shared vision that is aligned with organizational goals. They then steer the way forward, which often means they serve as a guard, shielding their staff from any obstacles impeding forward movement. They serve as a resource, a defender, and a provider of tools to ensure their team members don’t miss a beat.
They encourage and reward ingenuity, authenticity, and hard work, while ensuring the individual contributors also feel part of the larger mission.
2.They Transform Divided, Contentious Internal Environments Into Unified, High-Performing Cultures Centered on Common Goals
This type of leader often is brought into unproductive, unruly,or unfocused departments where rudderless leadership has been the norm.
Recharge Underperformers: These leaders know how to identify underperformers and either reinvigorate them with new focus and motivation to elevate their performance or reassign them appropriately. In other words, these leaders have the intestinal fortitude to make the hard decisions and execute on them.
Build Bridges: These leaders also know how to build bridges between uncooperative or siloed teammates to join forces for larger goals. Insightfulness into both individual and team needs ensures individuals don’t get drowned out while team projects that require uniformity keep chugging along.
Create Holistic Operations: They also are experienced and wise enough to assess situations from a holistic, mountaintop view before parachuting in to disassemble, reassemble or otherwise revamp existing scenarios. Change for the sake of change is not their modus operandi. They seek to create and thrive within deliberate and authentic high-functioning operations, and once they’ve accomplished this, they often seek – or more likely, are sought by others – to tackle a new challenge. Their leadership values precede them, and talent follows them to their next destination challenge.
Understand Employee Motivators: They seek to understand individual employees’ motivators and then tap into those motivators to springboard into new areas of productivity and performance. According to Michael Boyette in The Top Ten Employee Rewards and Motivators, three of these key employee motivators include
- Being in the know. Sharing the big picture with them and describing how they fit in);
- Understanding when the employee faces a crisis. Because every employee will likely face some legitimate personal crisis at some point; and,
- Engaging work: Are you feeding their (employees’) souls?
3.Get Excited About Disrupting the Status Quo
These leaders know that we live in a hyper-competitive, ever-changing, technology-driven world. They know their employees’ minds enrich existing, or ignite brand new ideas that infuse this technology engine. When an employee approaches them with a fresh insight, they say, “Heck yeah, I want to hear about it,” and take time to listen.
Nurture Creative Talent: They also know that creative minds require nurturing and feeding, and that creative companies and business economies require the same.
Value Creative Talent: “But in order to bring these creative thinkers to the forefront, they’ll need to feel both valued and safe, and not like their jobs are on the line every time they stick their necks out with off-kilter ideas,” says Erik Wahl in “How to encourage and reward creativity in your employees,” who continues on to advise leaders to go a step further and create stimulating environments to help staff unleash hidden talents. Moreover, they should take the charge to ensure every employee is recognized for the value they bring versus enabling a strife-filled, internally competitive scenario.
Continually Seek Opportunities to Disrupt: Because these leaders deeply embrace the interconnectedness between innovative employees, companies, and economies, they continually and enthusiastically seek ways to disrupt. These leaders artfully know how to blend the best of both conventional and nontraditional worlds to keep the organizational engine humming along.
Talent is attracted to this type of leader as opposed to stodgy or stuck in the past leadership that some companies have a reputation for. The exceptional disruptors respect the bedrock of history while supplementing and amending the way forward based on ever-changing business landscapes.
Talented candidates want to root their careers in growth-oriented, forward-looking companies. They seek empowerment to enable their own vision while also being a part of the company’s bigger vision. They desire a unified, team culture where their individual and collective contributions are not only valued, but encouraged.
Lever’s personalized nurture campaign technology enables company leaders to showcase their value drivers that appeal to top talent. By enabling an ongoing conversation that includes personalized interactions between your leadership and the talent they seek, companies can ensure top talents’ attention is drawn to their hiring door. Get your personalized demo of Lever from one of our experts.