Insight Blog

How to Evaluate Aspects of Great Leaders

How to Evaluate Aspects of Great Leaders Leadership: the art, skill, or practice of leading, guiding, or influencing a group of individuals to contribute to the success of an organization. Many people hold leadership roles. In fact, there are more than 195,000 CEOs employed in the United States alone, according to Business Insider.

With so many individuals in the equation, what sets great leaders apart? A lecture series by renowned consulting and training group Franklin Covey, named four aspects:

Who They Are

It starts at the core of a person. Great leaders have a foundation of character that creates trust and confidence among individuals and permeates throughout teams and across the organization. Those who stand out have a moral compass to help guide them in their decision-making process, are clear in their objectives, and remain firm in the choices they make.
Helbling Senior Managing Consultant Rick Nawoczynski secured a candidate who is highly educated with a degree in engineering and a J.D. (Juris Doctor) foundational law degree. She has the experience to match. But what about her stood out? 

“This woman chose a career in public administration and considers herself a public servant, working for the good of the people in her community. Her character is evident and that is what helps to guide her decisions,” noted Nawoczynski.  

He added, “She brings a positive attitude coupled with a direct and decisive approach, which has a huge influence on her team and the entire organization.”  

Interview questions that help candidates portray Who They Are:
  • How would someone on your team describe your management style?
  • How do you maintain positivity in the workplace?
  • What do you consider when you make an executive decision?

How They Think

Great leaders are aware of potential problems but reframe them as challenges and opportunities. They see what can be instead of what is. They often have a balance of creative and analytical thinking in order to determine an appropriate strategic approach. They also consider team members’ capabilities and talents and how they can better or best support the organization.
Matt Lesher, Helbling Senior Managing Consultant, looks for candidates who are “disruptors.” They interrupt the status quo and find ways to improve their organizations.
Lesher is currently communicating with a candidate employed by a large health system. This individual decided that by subcontracting all services, the organization may be compromising on quality. He brought 250 positions in house. The new employees’ personal interest in their work has resulted in higher quality scores and reduced operating costs.
Interview questions that help candidates portray How They Think:
  • Please provide an example of an alternate approach you took when addressing a challenge. What was the outcome?
  • How would you describe your ideal organizational structure?

Actions They Take

Another aspect is the demonstration of effective habits on a regular basis. This pattern of behavior sets an example for team members. It may involve punctuality or organizational skills. It can also involve assessing tasks. Great leaders dedicate their time, energy, and attention to activities with the highest rate of return and request the same of their team members.
Lesher, who has placed many successful leaders during his tenure at Helbling, looks for specific actions that indicate greatness. “I value candidates who are up early, hard workers, those who push themselves, move outside of their comfort zone, and are continual learners,” he stated.
Interview questions that help candidates portray Actions They Take:
  • What motivates you professionally?
  • Are there any workplace behaviors that you strongly like or dislike?
  • How do you assess rate of return as it pertains to regular activities?

Results They Achieve

Great leaders often utilize a combination of intuition, experience, and statistics to forecast and achieve results. Whether it involves new technology, client service, workplace morale or profit margins, leaders set goals and meet or exceed them on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. They are action-oriented and have an awareness of small details, which contributes to the big picture.
Interview questions that help candidates portray Results They Achieve:
  • How do you approach strategic planning within your organization?
  • Please provide an example of consistently meeting or exceeding organizational goals? 
  • What are your short- and long-term career goals?
Lesher and Nawoczynski agree that candidates with consistent, quantifiable achievements on their resumes always stand out. “Someone who has performed well on a regular basis is likely to achieve results anywhere he or she goes,” Lesher concluded.

If you are looking for a great leader or a new opportunity to lead, please contact us to connect with a Helbling search consultant.