Leaders have specific skills that help them to stand out in almost any environment. Your technology leaders might have exceptional organisational abilities and initiative. Your marketing stars may be creative, and ready to take risks. However, no matter what kind of leadership hire you’re looking for, today’s experts often agree that “agile leadership skills” should be a key feature in your job specs.
According to research, agility, and the ability to adapt quickly in complex situations delivers the best employees. After all, in a fast-moving environment, what could be better than someone who knows how to pivot to avoid conflict and predict upcoming trends. An agile and flexible leader can recover from failure, embrace innovation and direct a team towards success.
The question is, how accurately do you detect agility in your teams?
What Makes Agile Leadership?
Agile leaders possess soft skills that allow them to stay calm under pressure and rise to a range of challenges. Studies by Cornell and the Columbia University Teaching college suggest that leaders who test high for agility perform better when helping companies to grow their bottom lines.
With the help of a specialist recruitment team and a competency-based interview, it’s possible to uncover a hire’s ability to respond to agile situations. Here are just some of the things your business can look out for.
1. The Ability to Innovate
In an ever-changing environment like the technology industry, creativity is critical for a good leader. Agile employees know when to challenge the status quo. They provide alternative perspectives on complex topics because they can look at an issue from various angles at once.
For instance, digital marketplace leader Amazon can credit much of its success to their CEO, Jeff Bezos. To improve customer experience and push the customer satisfaction levels achieved by his company to the next level, Jeff pushed Amazon to invest in everything from drones that deliver products within 2 hours, to fuel-cell manufacturers.
Agile leadership must understand the goals of their organisation and look for creative ways to reach those targets.
2. High Performance in the Face of Challenges
Agile leaders are crucial staff members to have around during a crisis. They know how to observe the data available to them and use their insights to come up with new and creative solutions. Because they’re not afraid or restricted by the idea of failure, these stars are free to pull out all the stops for their employers.
For instance, when Tesla decided to sell high-end, technology-savvy cars to the public, Elon Musk knew that he had to innovate quickly to stay ahead of the competition. Fortunately, because he had the foresight to recognise upcoming trends in the industry, Musk was able to start installing innovative semi-autonomous systems into his cars before other firms ever had the chance to explore things like AI and machine learning.
Tesla’s leader didn’t see high levels of competition and evolution as a challenge. Instead, he embraced the nature of the automotive sector and used the pressure of the space to drive innovation.
3. Willingness to Take Risks
Another cruicial feature to look for in your tech talent is a willingness to take measured risks. After all, the most significant pioneers in the world today didn’t get to where they are now without facing a few risks along the way. Agile leaders know when to venture into new territory and try unfamiliar things. They volunteer for ideas where failure is a possibility and stretch themselves outside of their comfort zones.
Facebook is a great example of a company with a leader who takes risks. One of the most innovative companies in the world, Facebook generates billions in revenue each year, and it would never have done this unless Mark Zuckerberg had found a way to monetise his platform without compromising user experience.
The company frequently rolls out new ad formats, introduces new features like 360 videos, and implements new strategies to continue raising revenue without losing customers. All of this innovation requires constant agility and the ability to take risks.
4. The Ability to Reflect on Experience
Finally, an agile leader is an insightful individual with a creative mind. They’re not someone who’s stuck in their ways or unable to respond well to criticism. Many hiring managers already know that the best employees often seek out new experiences and use them as learning opportunities.
An agile leader looks for feedback and criticism to fuel their growth. In fact, in a Harvard Business Review piece by J.P Flaum and Becky Winkler, the authors say that self-awareness is the highest predictor of C-Suite role success.
Agile leaders are continually growing and evolving. They’re not defensive or resistant to insights from their peers. Instead, they take the comments given to them and use them to adapt their strategy and improve their understanding of the situations they face.
About Resource On Demand
Resource On Demand is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Company, now also focusing on growth Cloud markets.
We assist innovative and disruptive organisations to grow their technology teams. Supporting companies to fill Cloud roles that span across Digital Marketing, Marketing Automation, Human Capital Management and the growing Salesforce.com suite of skills.
The team at Resource On Demand have access to an extensive database of key talent, registering over 8000 Cloud professionals each year.
To find out how we can support you call us on +44 20 8123 7769