The face of modern leadership is changing

To get under the skin of modern leadership, we invited a group of leaders from the sector to see what it looks like.

Our discussion focused on seven common qualities that define modern leadership: vulnerability, empathy, curiosity, creativity, conviction, courage and patience. Our recent Leadership Report discusses these in more detail.

Some of these qualities you might recognise in our conventional view of leadership – what leader wouldn’t identify with being courageous and operating with conviction? But what about vulnerability? On the face of it this doesn’t quite reconcile with the view that leaders need to be brave and resilient.

However, we realised that being vulnerable is about being able to share who you are and presenting your authentic self. This often enables trust, empowerment and sharing experiences which can be a very powerful catalyst and enabler.

Finding and engaging the right leaders with help from an ACEVO leadership forum

Given we started this discussion on what modern leadership looks like, I recently asked other leaders at an ACEVO regional leadership forum to think about these qualities in the context of finding and engaging the right leaders for their own organisations.

How can this underpin effective recruitment and ensure you are attracting and securing the right talent for your own organisations and recruiting against key values?

We talked about recruiting people with these qualities and how you can engage and secure individuals interest.

Four ways to recruit leaders with the right values and qualities:

Whilst there is always nuance and specific circumstances for any one situation, we came back to a number of key things worth remembering to ensure you can secure leaders whose values and qualities are compatible:

  1. Showcase your own organisation’s values – what it stands for, the impact it makes. Help leaders identify with the ‘how’ rather than the ‘what’ and how people ‘show up to and live’ the values of the organisation.
  2. Don’t see recruitment as an isolated episode. You want to draw attention to yourself so be an employer of choice and think of yourself as a ‘magnet’ drawing compatible leaders into your orbit.
  3. Showcase your diversity as an organisation if you want to attract diverse people. Why should someone join you if they don’t identify with the kind of people you have working with you, or the kind of culture you have fostered?
  4. In your selection process formulate an approach that creates questions structured around demonstrating values. In this way you’ll recruit people far more motivated and committed to the success of the organisation and its goals.