Secrets of the Superbosses :
(How exceptional leaders hire and hone talent)
Certainly all of them like Ralph Lauren, Larry Ellison, Julian Robertson and many more are known for being talented and successful – even legendary – in their respective fields. All have reputations as innovators who pioneered new business models, products, services that created billions of dollars in value. But there’s one thing that distinguishes these business icons from their equally famous peers : the ability to groom talent. They didn’t just build organizations; they spotted; trained ; and developed a future generation of leaders. They belong in a category beyond superstars : Superbosses.
Its been found that superbosses share a number of key personality traits. They tend to be extremely confident, competitive, and imaginative. They also act with integrity and aren’t afraid to their authentic selves shine through.
Similar patterns among Superbosses are common tastes, proclivities, behaviours – anything that might help explain why these people were able to propel not only their companies but also their protégés to such great heights. These leaders follow specific practices in hiring and honing talent – practices that the rest of us can study and incorporate into our own repertoires. (skills or types of behaviour that a person habitually uses.)
- Unconventional Hiring : Superbosses begin by seeking out unusually gifted people – individuals who are capable not merely of driving a business forward but of rewriting the very definition of success.
- Focus on intelligence, creativity and flexibility : Superbosses value these three attributes above all others. They insist that of you weren’t going to hire someone great, you shouldn’t hire at all. Superbosses want people who can approach problems from new angles, handle surprises, learn quickly, and excel in any position.
- Find unlikely winners : Superbosses consider credentials, ofcourse, but they’re also willing to take chances on people who lack industry experience or even college degrees.
- Adapt the job or organization to fit the talent : Superbosses opportunistically tailor jobs and sometimes even their organizations to new hires.
- Accept Churn : Smart, creative , flexible people tend to have fast-paced careers. Some may soon want to move on. That’s OK with superbosses. They understand that the uality of talent on their teams matters more than stability, and they regard turnover as an opportunity to find fresh stars. This kind of attitude has an added payoff : When word gets out that people who work for you succeed not only at your organization but outside it, the world will start beating a path to your door. Superbosses barely need to recruit, because their reputations bring a continous stream of talent to them.
- Hands –on Leadership : Superbosses also have a distinct way of developing employees. Their ability is “ to make exceptional people do the impossible”.
- Set high expectations : Superbosses are bullish on what their teams can accomplish, They demand extraordinarily high performance; “ perfect is good enough” captures their attitude.
- Be a master : Superbosses are extremely effective delegators. Having chosen smart, ambitious, adaptable people and offered them a vision, they trust the team to execute. Superbosses’ teaching extend to leadership and life lessons as well.
- Encourage step–change growth : All superbosses offered advancement opportunities far beyond those found in traditional organizations. Rather than relying solely on “competency models” to guide development and promotion decisions, they customized career paths for protégés who had proved their worth, seeking to dramatically compress their learning and growth.
- Stay connected : For superbosses, counselling protégés is a long-term commitment. Even after someone moves out of their organization, superbosses continue to offer advice, personal introduction, and “membership” in their networks. Maintaining relationships with ex-employees sets superbosses up for all sorts of follow-on opportunities such as developing business partnership.
- Superbosses employ : practices that set them head and shoulders above even the best traditional bosses. They seek out talent differently and hire them in unsual ways.. They create high expectations and take it upon themselves to serve as “masters” to up-and-coming “apprentices”. Remember that people are more effective when they feel confident, and make it your job to build them up. Look for opportunities to delegate big responsibility even to younger team members.
Following the superboss playbook, we can all become better at nurturing talent, creating higher –performing workforces and, ultimately, more dynamic and sustainable businesses and industries.
Courtesy : HBR Feb’ 2016