I challenge you to ask the top three leaders you know if they consider themselves to be a leader or an executive?
Then ask them which they would rather be.
The critical difference between hiring executives vs. leaders
There is a difference between leadership recruitment and executive recruitment, and understanding the nuance could be crucial for the success of your business.
Executive Recruitment is a niche sector of the recruitment industry. Search firms source top management types from company to company to fill your managerial roles. It is costly in more ways than one. First off, of course, it is expensive. Executive head hunters charge high rates to find you people at the senior level.
More importantly, however, you could be filling your top roles with executives in a time when your business really needs leaders.
People work for executives. They follow leaders.
That’s not to say that there aren’t similarities in the roles of leaders and executives or that executives can’t be great leaders. I’m sure that plenty of them are. But they aren’t always, and that is why the two words should not be used interchangeably.
Both leaders and executives leverage the power of their position to influence the work and productivity of the people under them. However, implementing the company policies and programs and overseeing the roadmap can be taught in business school. You can receive training and practice your “executive presence.” Your executives might be talented. That doesn’t make them leaders.
Genuine leadership requires more than that. It isn’t enough anymore for executives to lead teams based on the authority of their position or job title. Real leaders create and communicate a vision, and they motivate people to commit to actualizing it.
That kind of leadership that inspires teams to their best work is harder to teach and doesn’t come from power poses and spreadsheets.
It takes a leader to find a leader.
It’s more difficult to find genuine leadership potential in candidates, which is why most management search firms will focus on ‘executive’ placement. It is easier to show executive qualifications than leadership qualities on paper.
Because the profiles and skillsets of executives and leaders can be very different, it’s important to partner with the right agency when looking for someone to lead your teams. You need an agency that believes fundamentally in your company’s mission and goals and is aligned with your vision for growth.
Think about who heads-up your critical Sales team. Do you need an executive, or are you really looking for a leader? Someone who can build an award-winning team, develop go-to-market strategies, and who will roll up their sleeves and lead by example?
Who do you want leading your teams?
I challenge you to ask the top three leaders you know if they consider themselves to be a leader or an executive. Then ask them which they would rather be.
And who would you rather have leading your teams? When hiring for your next leadership role, choose your partner carefully. “Executive Recruitment” services are widely available, and they have long been a standard way for companies to fill their senior roles.
It’s just that most of the standard ways of doing things just won’t do anymore. Leaders know this.
#WeHelpOurClientsLead! The Leadership Agency was founded with one purpose: to help companies lead by helping them hire the best leadership talent they need to take them to the top of their industries. To find out more, contact:
Jamie Hoobanoff, Founder at The Leadership Agency.