By Michael Holland     

My favorite NFL football team, the great Baltimore Ravens, made their first pick in the 2014 NFL draft and picked C.J. Mosley who attended and played for Alabama.  What’s really amazing about the NFL draft process is the tremendous depth and breadth of information that is available on every player.  With a quick Google search I found out everything I could want to know about Mosley, why Baltimore chose him, how he’ll impact other players on the team, how high he can jump, his hand size, hours of video of him playing and if he’s had any trouble with the society in the recent past.

What if you could draft the next generation leaders within your companies in the same way?  What combination of facts and information would you want to know about a young leader ahead of their introduction to interacting with your employees?

We think we know so much about a leader from their resume, LinkedIn, references, interviews and mock presentations but can real leadership talent be ascertained?  What should we really want to know about a leader whom we want to hire or promote?  Here are 3 of my favorite:

  • Video replay of the leader talking with employees in all different scenarios and situations including providing feedback and coaching capturing private moments when no one knows there’s a camera and real, live conversations are occurring.
  • Behind the scenes interviews and video of employees talking about the leader and the true impact the leader is having.  Picture the raw video reality TV shows provide revealing how everyone really feels about one of the other participants.
  • Ratings from siblings, neighbors and friends regarding the leader’s integrity, relationship building, sharing of tools/resources/time, serving others, and compassion.  How is the leader perceived by those who have seen him in the real world over a long period of time?

We so often salivate for statistics of a leader’s success in terms of the results they have been able to achieve in the smart things in the business: money made/saved, projects completed, goals achieved, objectives met, synergies synergized.  But we neglect to deeply investigate the trend line of success with the people with whom the leader has interacted and impacted over a period of time.  And it’s those interactions and impacts that separate the entitled, well paid leaders from the great, transformational leaders.

The true value of a great leader – and the most leverageable value – is their skill in building and sustaining strong individual relationships with those in their charge so that they can pull together as a cohesive team.  Think about it. . . of all the teams you have been part of or led over the years, what percentage were highly cohesive and effective excelling far beyond the capabilities of the team members?

Coaching Thoughts – For Your and Your Peers

  • If you were in an interview today for a leadership role, how would you speak to your trend line of impact and interaction?
  • Do you agree or disagree with the idea of getting ratings from siblings, neighbors, and friends?  Articulate your reasons for agreement or disagreement.
  • Of all the teams you have been part of or led over the years, what percentage were highly cohesive and effective excelling far beyond the capabilities of the team members?  Talk about your experiences.