By: Tristan Anwyn
The right CEO can take your company forward with vision, resulting in a bigger customer base, a better company profile and of course more profits.
How do you hire the best? There are practical things you can do to see if your candidate has the experience and qualifications, from proven track records to past education, but a great leader is more than a list of profit figures and success stories.
What are the intangible qualities that make a CEO the cream of the crop? And how can you measure the immeasurable?
Wisdom is the ability to apply good judgment to a given situation and choose the right course of action. Wisdom can't be taught - it's a combination of life experience with the ability for introspection.
A wise CEO will take time to review their actions and decisions and look at the link between them and the outcome of a given situation. Wisdom includes willingness to analyze what has happened and why, to review what worked and what didn't, and to apply that knowledge in the future.
How can you measure it?Ask them about situations where they took time to review it and decided to do things differently in future. A wise CEO learns from situations and improves, rather than grandstanding about their flawless track record.
Vision means the ability to see the future story of your company before it's been written.
A CEO with vision is one who can analyze market trends and potential niches, and sees where your company could fit in. The key to true vision is the ability to not only see what your company could grow to be, but to connect that vision to the everyday running of the company and figure out the tangible steps that need to be taken in order to get there.
How can you measure it?Ask about their vision for your company, paying attention to where they see you fitting into the current market. Then ask how they would devise a plan to get you there, and how they would implement it.
A CEO with character is one who has presence, who inspires those around them to confidence and trust in their leadership. Part of character is an ability to connect with people on all levels - colleagues should feel heard and valued.
On the flip side, another aspect of character is the ability to make the tough decisions, knowing they won't be popular with everyone. Strong personal ethics, integrity, and the ability to follow through on commitments all build a character that commands respect.
How can you measure it?Watch how they engage with everyone they meet during your interview time, and judge how people respond to them. Contact previous colleagues for an informal chat.
Something all successful entrepreneurs share is passion. It's what makes them get out of bed in the morning and tackle the working day with gusto, showing commitment to taking their company forward in a pro-active fashion.
When you're hiring a CEO, someone with passion is a must. A passionate CEO is one who not only has vision, but is determined to bring that vision to life. Passion is fuel to the fire, motivating not only your CEO, but everyone who works with them.
How can you measure it?Ask them about some of their favorite projects - and the ones they hated. Look for evidence of drive and commitment no matter what is going on around them.
A confident leader inspires confidence in the team around him, making it a must-have for any CEO you hire.
A confident CEO is one who has trust in their own abilities and skills, and is willing to rely on those skills and follow their gut without being swayed by popular opinion. However, confidence shouldn't be poisoned by arrogance.
A CEO who is confident in their abilities will be open minded and willing to consider and listen to others, before making a final, strong decision.
How can you measure it?Ask them about their strengths, weaknesses and abilities. Look for a healthy level of trust in what they can do, tempered by the humility to admit mistakes and take on board the views of trusted team members.
These intangible qualities are what set a CEO apart, differentiating the good CEOs from the great.
There isn't a benchmark you can use to measure wisdom, vision, character, passion and confidence, but with a sharp eye and a good ear you can pick up some valuable indicators of whether your CEO has the qualities to make them, and your company, stand out from the crowd.
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on subjects as diverse as health, marketing, Reputation.com testimonials, and SEO.