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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Bullock

The 3 essential qualities of a leadership team

When selecting a leadership team, credentials are important, but CEOs do not depend only on a CV. Past successes, academic degrees, and other on-paper accomplishments don't necessarily transfer to real-world abilities.

To uncover what a firm actually needs—great managers with superb judgment—the recruiting team must go beyond qualifications to grasp a candidate's true potential.

This process is about discovering intangible characteristics that cannot be taught. Sometimes determining whether or not someone will be a genuinely competent leader means putting them into the fire and watching how they react.

Here are three things to keep an eye out for.

Ability to assist and instruct others

Knowing how to accomplish a job is one thing; communicating your process is another.

The best leaders can take an extensive, complex process and simplify it so that any new recruit can grasp it. A manager should help others instead of telling them what to do. Instead of having a solo power trip, they should be empowering their team members.

Eagerness to try new things

There isn't always an obvious path to a solution. Sometimes you have to try new things.

High-potential leaders know this and are prepared to get their hands dirty exploring new techniques and putting questionable ideas to the test.

When selecting a leadership team, I look for this capability. The right people can achieve great outcomes by tackling an issue in a fresh, original way.


Being inventive means making the most of a company's resources, regardless of supply. To properly assess this skill, ideally you need to observe it in action. That's why, if possible, I prefer to promote staff internally. Many of our finest managers began their careers in entry-level positions at one of my firms.

TAKEAWAY: Managers frequently fall into the trap of believing they have all the answers. As a result, people begin to rely entirely on their leaders. A competent leader involves their whole staff in creative, problem-solving activities. Start choosing a leadership team that is open-minded enough to work cooperatively rather than authoritatively.


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