There are many helpful hiring frameworks, tools that help a leader find the right people. For a long time, I (and many others) have used a version of the four C’s: Character, Competence, Chemistry, and Capacity. I enjoy reading and learning from what other leaders look for when they bring people onto their teams. In Ram Charan’s latest book, The High Potential Leader, he mentions a hiring lens/view of a leader that he believes is exceptional at managing and developing leaders. Tony Palmer, president of global brands and innovation at Kimberly-Clark, looks for the following five traits when hiring or promoting:
- Learning agility
- Cultural acuity
- Execution without authority
- Desire or hunger
- Ability to develop others
Let me add my own commentary to these traits and why I think this is a helpful framework. Coincidentally, in copious ways Palmer’s counsel complements the character, competence, chemistry, capacity construct (c what I did there?).
1. Learning agility
Because an organization or ministry will change, adapt, and grow, people who can learn new skills and adjust are essential for the team. Because things change, it is critical to bring people on the team who show capacity to take on new responsibilities.
2. Cultural acuity
Similar to learning agility, Palmer describes cultural acuity as being able to put oneself in different situations and adjust. Great leaders adjust to the people they are leading; they don’t insist everyone adjusts to them.
3. Execution without authority
When lots of people are involved, the reporting lines are not always crystal clear and things are often very fluid. The ability to execute in a fluid environment is a key competency.
4. Desire or hunger
Many believe that skills can be developed, but passion cannot be. People who are not passionate and hungry for their roles will stifle the whole team.
5. Ability to develop others
If leaders are not developing others, the mission will be hampered. And it takes more than one senior leader to develop people; it takes a culture of leadership development. Thus, it is critical to hire and promote people committed to the task.