Elections, Interviews and Finding True Leaders
Elections are not an effective way to assess the leadership qualities of candidates, the strength of their ideas or their potential. Election wins are more awards for marketing teams than individual and party brilliance.
You wouldn’t dream of hiring a business leader based on who has the shiniest poster. So why do we do it with the leaders of our country?
Having said that, neither are traditional recruitment processes. CVs are some of the most boring documents known to man, and they tell you nothing about the qualities behind the achievements. Interviews favour those with slick presentation skills and perhaps not the brilliant but introverted.
As nominations close for the Lib Dem and Labour leaderships, we look at ways to find true leadership potential.
Task-based selection is something we have had a lot of success with here at Beringer Tame, and we often recommend it to clients. It is perfect for getting to the nub of a person’s natural abilities; their entrepreneurial spirit, their innate commerciality and personal flair.
This is an especially useful method when you’re looking for a person rather than a skill set. Even someone whose CV doesn’t have the ‘right’ experience can demonstrate their suitability for a role with a task.
So perhaps rather than having Ed Miliband stumble over ‘hell yes I’m tough enough’ on international relations, the electorate could have put him in a room with Putin (or a good actor) and really see whether or not he was tough enough.
Similarly, we found Lyle & Scott’s CEO Philip Oldham through his excellent interpretation and accomplishment of digital tasks; his CV alone probably wouldn’t have even been put on the ‘maybe’ pile.
What do you get from a CV? How good someone’s degree is, what they want you to know they’ve done at work, and probably a severe case of the yawns. Anything about the actual person is kept to a few optional lines of ‘Hobbies & Interests’ (music, films, blah blah blah).
At Beringer Tame we don’t focus on what people have done before. We look to hire a personality type, and a CV is of no use to us. Which is why we invented the Un-CV.
The Un-CV is a measure of a person’s qualities, interests and how well they’ll fit into our team. It might be as simple as a Pinterest board or as complicated as a 5 minute YouTube video, but it gives us an insight into the person that you don’t get from CVs or interviews: what drives them, what they like doing, what they’d be like to sit next to every day.
Modern elections are not the best way to test and select leaders. But neither are CVs and interviews. At Beringer Tame we look for different ways to judge competency, and work with our clients on this. It’s lead to Lyle & Scott finding an unconventional CEO, and other clients are also finding success with these methods.
If you’re finding that traditional processes are getting you nowhere, perhaps it’s time to think a little differently..?
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