This column is part of Globe Careers' Leadership Lab series, where executives and experts share their views and advice about leadership and management. Follow us at @Globe_Careers. Find all Leadership Lab stories at tgam.ca/leadershiplab
Leaders don't hire. Yes, you hire to fill a job but you recruit to bring in the right "human essence" to your organization to ensure its long-term success.
Discover these competencies in people and gather them around you:
Lifelong learner: If you're not learning, you bring little future value to an organization. Look for evidence that prospects are active learners. What areas are they interested in? Who have they learned from? What have they done to apply what they've learned and how can they be put to use in your organization?
Infection agent: The ability to infect others with the interest and excitement necessary to execute your strategic game plan is a priceless art. Some people have the innate passion and tenacity to get others on the bandwagon. Get 'em on board.
Apologizer: Loyalty building after you have screwed a customer over begins with "I'm sorry". Find people who do this naturally and are believable. Some can't. Some don't want to. If there is no apology, there is zero service recovery.
Human being "lover": Creating a "wow" factor for customers is about serving them in exemplary ways. Look for people with a natural desire to serve. Memorable customer moments are created by these people. Find them. Nurture them. Protect them. Reward them.
High pain tolerant: Greatness doesn't come without disappointment and pain along the way. Resilience pays off. Look for the hard skin. Look for people who like to "get dirty".
Successful failure: Success requires doing lots of imperfect stuff fast, which generally involves people failing along the way. Look for a track record of "tries" – shortfalls but forward motion nevertheless.
Raconteur: Stories bring everything to life, painting a picture of what it looks like when success happens. Bring people in who can skillfully light up someone's eyes with a story about some aspect of your strategy. Talk the event. Talk the person. Talk the magic.
Descrambler: Execution is complex. An indispensable team member is one who can see through complexity and simplify it so everyone understands what has to be done. Elegance that can't be implemented is worthless. Get the "dumb down artist".
Connector: Deliverables to customers are produced through processes working across the organization, not in silos. Broken customer promises occur when a link in the internal supply chain breaks. Identify people who can connect with others and build effective relationships with them.
First responder: A huge aspect of surviving an unexpected tsunami is responding thoughtfully and quickly. Individuals who bring their "A" game when the unexpected happens add a ton of value and are critical to the organization's continued success.
"Chillax-er": You need people who react well under extreme pressure – stop, pause, think and respond thoughtfully. This is tough to teach. Covet the mellow ones.
Nano-inch seeker: There's no such thing as a silver bullet. Progress is made by having executing a strategy flawlessly, inch by inch. Covet those who have the tenacity and perseverance to get an inch fast.
Do you have a "competencies to covet" plan?
Delegation of this critical task is not an option.
Do it yourself.
Roy Osing (@RoyOsing) is a former executive vice-president of Telus with more than 33 years of leadership experience. He is a blogger, educator, coach, adviser and the author of the book series Be Different or Be Dead, dedicated to helping organizations and individuals stand out from the competitive herd.