By Dinte
Feb. 16, 2012

In 2008, we had many concerns about how the recession would affect our clients’ businesses. We often debated how the recession would affect the way that they would build their future leadership teams. Four years later, we are able to report with a high degree of confidence how our clients have dealt with this delicate matter of leadership.

Today, our clients are telling us that in order to increase market share, they must do these things: take it from a competitor and innovate new market opportunities.  Barriers to entry and competitors are both greater in number and strength than in previous years. This increased competition and drive for innovation has caused organizations to shine the light on their leadership teams.  There is simply no room for error in today’s contemporary business world.

As an executive search firm, many of our clients who are grappling with this hypercompetitive business environment are constantly asking us, “Do we have the best leadership talent compared with what we are seeing in the broader leadership talent market?”It seems like a no brainer that organizations have to significantly raise the bar to keep up. Boards and CEO’s must go to market with a clear vision in mind for their future leadership teams and have the commitment to continuously develop their present leadership teams.

A recent Forbes article, Leadership Success is No Longer Measured by Money or Power, explores how the 2008 recession has changed the way we view leadership roles. “Historically, leadership success has been associated with money and power,” the article explains. Today, leaders are looking at the bigger picture. They understand the impact business decisions have not only on the financial success of the company but also the global community.  Leaders are now realizing “decisions at work reflect not just the kind of money earned, but the kind of person [the leader] wants to be.”

While working with clients since the 2008 recession, we have noticed the following trends:

•    Buzz words like “collaboration” and “team building” are more prominent when describing a candidate’s leadership abilities

•    Courage, honesty, integrity, passion, and emotional intelligence are key competencies that our clients demand in a leadership candidate

•    Strategic flexibility and broad based business experience is growing in importance as candidates need to adapt to the constantly changing business environment

•    Willingness to be innovative is also important to help the company be different from competitors

We are curious to hear your thoughts about how the 2008 recession has changed your philosophy in how to build high performance leadership teams.

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