The Leading Edge - Selecting a Leader that People will WANT to Follow

Before you hire your next President, COO (or even CEO to be hired by a board) circulate among all the people who work at your company this request to be answered anonymously:

"A search is now being conducted for a new president, COO, CEO, etc. please answer the following anonymously and don't name particular names.

1. Imagine it is Sunday night and you are looking forward to Monday and that the week flies by because you feel so glad to work here.

a. List the adjectives that would describe the workplace here to cause you to feel this way.
b. List the qualities of the President, COO (or whoever you are searching for) so that you would feel this way.
2. Imagine it is Sunday night and you dread Monday, the weeks takes forever and you are often thinking of leaving this company.
a. List the adjectives that would describe the workplace here to cause you to feel this way.
b. List the qualities of the President, COO, etc. to cause you to feel this way.

Then when you are interviewing candidates for President, COO, etc. ask them what adjectives their direct reports, fellow executives, directors, employees would use to describe them. If they don't know, ask them what those people would that leader's values are. If they don't know that either, you're dealing with someone without much emotional intelligence and you may want to be cautious.

If you think this is useful you can do a similar one for your company's most important customers/clients, questions would be along the lines: Your products/services causes them to say, "This is the best product/service we use" vs. "I'm very close to stopping using that product/service and why."

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