A lot of research has been performed to try and identify what “common characteristics” great business leaders share, what makes them special. The key personality aspects are superior Flexibility and Responsiveness, what we call Professional Agility!
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” ― Albert Einstein
Why it is that some people can transform businesses and take a company from being a small unknown entity into a major organisation with a substantial revenue stream and workforce? Most studies suggest – and based on our experience as Senior Level Executive Recruiters we certainly agree – the best leaders are those people that are able to quickly adjust, change and edit based on i) market conditions as they evolve, ii) the people that they are dealing with and iii) the challenges that they are facing.
In other words, top-class Executives have great Professional Agility, they do not stand still but evolve quickly and smoothly based on changing circumstances.
To succeed it is unquestionable that leaders must be adaptable, open-minded and instead of fearing change must prepare for it and welcome innovation with arms wide open.
In today’s complex business environment, where things are continually evolving, leaders often can not rely on traditional strategies that have worked in the past, or even those that are working today… They must always be looking forward and thinking about what is next and how to adjust accordingly.
Successful companies benefit from executive leaders that enjoy change and can turn uncertainty into increased corporate success. These individuals are incredibly flexible and responsive, they evolve with the times. They are professionally agile and able to swiftly adapt and edit their approach and style to overcome new challenges due to unique circumstances.
People who demonstrate these characteristics often proactively seek out unfamiliar experiences so as to be able to learn and then apply the knowledge gained to be better equipped to succeed in the next new situation.
Being able to learn very fast, to embrace change and to be able to adjust efficiently helps them to know what to do, and in a confident manner, when dealing with the unfamiliar.
Many studies have shown that these personality characteristics are far more indicative of Executive Success Potential versus the more traditional focus on intelligence and education. Flexible and responsive learners typically see faster career development and advancement, and in a sustained manner, than those who resist change or fail to learn from past mistakes.
It is believed that only about 15% of executives fall into this “Flexible and Responsive… Professionally Agile” category.
Some executives will have strong and successful starts to their careers but then fall into the trap of over-relying on past solutions used for past challenges – in essence applying old ways to new problems – and as such they stop learning and adapting, stop editing for the new…. they become “professionally stagnant”.
To become – and then maintain position – as a top flight executive a professional needs to keep their hunger for learning, stay restless for new challenges and embrace change.
In regards to Flexibility & Responsiveness, these are the main areas that help to determine an individual’s capacity for Professional Agility and in turn their Executive success potential:
Mental — how comfortable is the person when handling complex situations? Can they quickly identify a problem and move onto solutions based on the uniqueness of the circumstances at hand?
People — are they talented and skilled communicators, able to edit and adjust their style and words, to be able to work effectively with a diverse range of people, often simultaneously?
Change — do they like change and welcome it as a challenge, a motivator for personal development? Do they have a history of experimenting, when old ways do not work or fail to generate the necessary results do they work hard to find new solutions?
Results — can the person still deliver success when dealing with new / unknown situations? Do they have a track record for handling the unknown and achieving results in the process?
Self-Analysis— are they able to analyse themselves and identify both their strengths and also weaknesses? Knowing their weaknesses, are they willing to adjust and edit in a bid to turn such weaknesses into strengths?
Success in an increasingly complicated and ever changing business environment, where technology in particular is changing the traditional landscape in a way that has never been seen before, requires executives to possess leadership styles and skills that differ from those that dominated in the past, more consistent business environment.
Executives must be flexible and responsive, fast in their ability to adapt their behaviour and strategies to quickly evolving circumstances. They must be Professionally Agile.
It is essential that organisations identify their professionals that possess these rare charactertistics, groom and develop such people, as these individuals will help to ensure a successful future.
Businesses that have leaders that are able to adjust, adapt and edit – will survive and thrive. Businesses that have leaders reliant on past strategies for past situations, in an ever changing landscape – will stagnate and often fail.
Here at ProCapita, as long established Indonesia Headhunters, we recognise what makes executives special and are always on the look-out for these game-changing people for our clients.
We know that the success of a business requires flexibility and responsiveness from its top people, more so now than ever before, in the age of quickly advancing technology.