In part one of this article, I discussed how all kinds of organizations do all kinds of executive assessments and publish all kinds of fascinating reports on each individual’s core competencies, examining why and how he/she will undoubtedly succeed at their next job. Yet, isn’t interesting that the average tenure for most executives is often shorter than expected? And the cost of a bad executive hire is estimated to be six to 12 times their annual salary!
In part one, I asked: Does anyone ever wonder — beyond their educational and professional pedigree, their never-ending brilliance, and their deep subject matter or industry expertise — how well these people actually connect (or don’t) with others, whether be it at the board-level or front-line contributors? Are they willing and able to empathize as well as they direct? Are they emotionally astute, engaging and intelligent enough to surround themselves with productive dissent? In short, are they relationship-centric and able to light a fire within others (which has a lasting effect) or are they simply focused on lighting a fire under others to get things done?
Here are the last five of the 10 essential competencies for relationship-centric executives — at any company, in any industry:
- Relationship change orientation – Change leadership is about transforming and constantly aligning the organization through the strategic relationships executives build in any organization, to drive improvement in new and challenging directions. Savvy executives realize that the relationships they develop can proactively challenge the status quo and mobilize key individuals and groups to change — in small departments as well as in massively complex organizations.
- Collaborative and highly influential – Do they work effectively with and influence those outside of their organization for positive impact on business performance? Astute executives see themselves as extensions of their organization and work diligently to build value-based, highly influential relationships both within and across key functional teams. They create innovative partnerships that span the enterprise and reach beyond its walls.
- People and organizational development – Do they see their role as simply executing a function, or do they see the broader development pathway of investing in human capital for the long-term benefit of the organization? The long-term capabilities of key individuals and the organization as a whole, can not only transform individual lives but the viability of the organization as well. Relationship-centric executives influence the development of talent systemically across the organization for a much broader impact on the organization’s performance.
- Team enabler – Much has been written and discussed about team leadership. But seldom do people talk about how to be a team enabler. Do executives focus key resources (human, capital, etc.) to align and build effective groups, both within the functional groups they serve, as well as across the organization? Relationship-centric executives empower and strengthen their teams, delegating authority when possible, with the intent of enabling the team to work effectively without direct management. In short, they identify and nurture — thus enabling high potentials to become high performers.
- Communication savvy – Relationships are mutually beneficial, and relationship-centric executives go out of their way to understand the appropriate, frequency, and type of necessary communication both within their function, as well as across the organization. Emotionally astute executives understand when they’ve stepped on key toes, or when someone has been unintentionally offended or left out of key discussions, and instead of throwing yet another email or memo over a wall, they pick up the phone or schedule a meal to embrace and support a broad spectrum of constituents. In short, they develop a powerful language to engage and influence many around them.
So, how do you rate against these 10 competencies?
This post explains one of the 33 skills all meeting and event planners need to master. Discover the others here.