The most critical role of a leader is to populate their organization with competencies required to deliver their strategic game plan.
Yes, academic pedigrees are important but they don’t represent the tipping point for successful performance.
These 14 competencies are those to covet in people. They represent basic human character and define the difference between a mediocre organization and a remarkable one.
1. Listening—you can’t discover what customers, employees and colleagues want and desire if you are not a 100% listener. Find those that like to hear themselves talk.
2. Apologizing—a successful recovery act after you have screwed a customer around (and every organization does sooner or later) begins with “I’m sorry”. Make sure you covet people who do this naturally. Some can’t. Some don’t want to. Organizations need to be human; stepping up to your faults is the beginning.
3. Respect for humans—creating memorable customer experiences is all about serving and taking care of people and it can’t be done if your people would rather be doing something else. If prospects don’t like humans, show them the door.
4. High pain tolerance—greatness doesn’t come without disappointment and pain along the way. If people can’t endure the pain associated with progress no significant advancements are ever made.
5. Desire to try—progress requires people always trying new stuff and failing along the way. That’s innovation. Look for people with a demonstrated track record of trying and learning from failure.
Related: Are You a Leader Who Lights Fires?
6. Mellow yellow—you really do need folks that react well under extreme pressure. STOP—PAUSE—THINK—RESPOND THOUGHTFULLY. It’s virtually impossible to train people in this. Hire for it.
7. Great memory—a good memory will go a long way to dazzling a customer. It shows you paid attention the last time you connected with the person. It shows you care enough to remember. And it’s a competitive advantage for the organization.
8. Nano-inch seeker—progress is made by executing the game plan of the organization flawlessly, inch-by-inch-by-inch. There are few silver bullets that result in quantum leaps. Look for people who have demonstrated the capability to “get an inch of progress” FAST.
9. Lifelong learning—if people aren’t always learning something new, how can they help the organization innovate move forward? They can’t. Look for evidence that prospects are constant learners and have a passion for probing the unknown.
10. Infecting—the ability to “infect others” with the virus of your strategic intent is critical in terms of executing it. Some people have the interest, passion and tenacity to get others excited about advancing the cause. This is an invaluable asset. Remarkable results are created through energy and passion, not from pondering.
11. Making friends—deep customer relationships and loyalty are the result of trusted relationships built over time. If a prospect has a shallow friend network, ask why. It could be they don’t value relationships. Stay clear.
12. Storytelling—stories “breathe life” into a strategy. They paint pictures of what it looks like when the plan is being successfully executed in the field. You need people who can “light peoples’ eyes up” with a story about some aspect of your strategy. Talk the event. Talk the person. Talk…..
13. Simple thinking—great performance originates with simplicity. Execution is simplicity. Elegance that can’t be implemented is worthless. Think simple. Find simple. Discover folks with the natural ability to dumb things down.
14. Connecting with others—results are produced through processes working ACROSS the organization through a team of people working together to get the job done. This requires the ability to connect with others and build effective relationships with them.
The real important competencies to covet are basic human skills because it’s people that make organizations successful.
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