What makes a standout leadership hire?

I'll give you a couple examples of standout leadership hires: One was an infrastructure architect hire I made. At the time, there weren't enough infrastructure architects that understood cloud. I improvised by looking for somebody that was a network architect, because when you start to understand the cloud, fundamentally it's leveraging the network. What makes these standout individuals special is they're incredibly adaptable. You may hire them for one role, but throw them at any problem and they just have an incredible talent to adapt, to truly absorb and synthesize what's going on to have an immediate impact. Another standout hire I made began as Chief of Staff. Within a few months, I had switched her into leading infrastructure because the individual who was leading that had decided to retire. She stepped in, helped out, did an incredible job. The common theme here is adaptability.

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Anonymous Author
I'll give you a couple examples of standout leadership hires: One was an infrastructure architect hire I made. At the time, there weren't enough infrastructure architects that understood cloud. I improvised by looking for somebody that was a network architect, because when you start to understand the cloud, fundamentally it's leveraging the network. What makes these standout individuals special is they're incredibly adaptable. You may hire them for one role, but throw them at any problem and they just have an incredible talent to adapt, to truly absorb and synthesize what's going on to have an immediate impact. Another standout hire I made began as Chief of Staff. Within a few months, I had switched her into leading infrastructure because the individual who was leading that had decided to retire. She stepped in, helped out, did an incredible job. The common theme here is adaptability.
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Anonymous Author
I learned from lots of failures. Having a standout hire is very hard, it's a numbers game and it’s about probability, like baseball. If you get 30% right you're doing awesome. What I really look for is adaptability but more importantly someone who can compliment you. Not looking for the exact skill sets and expertise that you or the rest of the team have, but that missing component. What is the missing component? Trying to fill that gap with the right kind of diverse view can really help you think differently. We use Personality Poker which puts you in 1 of 4 buckets. You're analytical, you're a creative person, you’re an execution-driven person, or you’re a people-driven person. I’ve found that you need a bit of all of those personalities to really be successful. The person I hired joined us as a head of account management to create that function, and then she went on to be head of customer success, and now she's running core platforms. The true skill set that differentiated her was her ability to connect with people, whether they’re external or internal customers, which was lacking on the technology team. We were very much I's and O's, ones and zeros, trying to solve technical problems, but we were missing the mark on empathy and emotion. Having that perspective supplemented the team really well and became the X factor that really allowed us to move a lot quicker than we were in the past. The way I've looked at it is really trying to augment and supplement what you're missing, so I try to find as many people as I can that are not like me, that would challenge me, to make sure that we're all thinking through the various compositions.
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Anonymous Author
The standout leadership hires I've seen are the ones who have come in and understood that whether it's politics that are happening in the company or in the executive team, they have to navigate their way through it thoughtfully and be able to actually build consensus. Those standout hires can say, “I'm the new person and I don't have any history or reference here, let me tell you how the world works outside of this little microcosm that you're working in.”
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