What to Look for when Hiring a Global Leader

So you want to hire that ‘stand out’ candidate who will achieve miraculous results for you and leave a lasting legacy which people young and old will be talking about for years to come.

Someone who is not only instantly recognisable but almost iconic in what they stand for and what they represent. Someone so inspirational that they  can gather an amazing team of selfless workers around them, totally committed to the cause, who will put in twelve months of selfless work involving meticulous planning and preparation so that their leader can deliver that knock-out performance in the one huge global event of the year. An event which just has to succeed because there will be no second chances to get it ‘right on the night.’

I’m not talking about the next Richard Branson. Nor the reincarnation of Steve Jobs. Although they come close, even they can’t match it for leadership star power and global performance so undeniably amazing, that it can only be described as miraculous.

No my friends, there can only ever be one as instantly recognisable and enduring as this global marketing genius and ‘style icon’. I am talking about the one… the only… Mr Santa Claus, aka Saint Nick, champion and patron saint of little children everywhere throughout the globe, who still have it in their heart to believe in miracles.

Given the time of the year, I thought it behoved me to complete one of my precision profiles of the venerable old gentleman and global icon himself. Here is what I have discovered from delving deeply into Mr Claus’s motivational make-up. The patterns I describe here are only sixteen of forty eight potential motivational patterns available to choose from, but I am confident that they represent the key motivational drivers that set Santa apart from his iconic peers.

Santa’s  motivational patterns I uncovered are in no particular order of priority:–

  • Goal Orientation: Someone who is able to maintain focus on the main objective over time. They are well suited to situations where staying focused on the goal is the key to their effectiveness. (For Santa there is only one goal… one main chance… one event to strive for… and he never waivers from his total focus to that goal – 24th December each year.)
  • External Reference: Someone who excels at being adaptable to the needs of the customer and other stakeholders and who listens carefully to what the customer wants and then delivers according to their wishes. (No matter how caught up he may get in the day-to-day running of his global delivery business, Santa never loses sight of what drives every decision, every action – his young customers’ feedback and requests.)
  • Breadth Orientation: Someone who works with and thinks about very large “chunks” of information. Predominantly they prefer to work from a global or high level perspective. (No arguments with this one. While the elves handle the details, Santa keeps his eye firmly focused on the global big picture.)
  • Alternatives Thinking:  Someone who looks for other ways to do things, always weighing up options and seeking alternative ways to achieve an outcome. (For me choosing this one was a little tricky, but my educated guess would be that Santa is always open to other options and ways of doing things in his quest to fulfil the promises of all those trusting little souls. If a particular gift is just not possible to deliver on Christmas morn, I am sure that he will find a way to deliver something else equally special. Besides, I am told that Santa leaves all the processing stuff to his elves, which is more suited to their line of work, and therefore their particular motivational preference.)
  • Group Environment: Someone who is productive working in and around people constantly. When they have many people to interact with, they are able to be most effective. They handle distractions and interruptions to their daily routine well. (Santa just loves the social interaction he gets from people both at work and out in the marketplace. I am sure he is most productive when he can get out and mingle with the multitudes. I bet if he had to work alone inside a little office at the back of North Pole headquarters, within two minutes he’d be out there on the processing floor mingling with the elves and having a good old ‘chin wag,’ getting amongst the action.)
  • Sole Responsibility: Someone who is very happy to accept responsibility and accountability for their own performance. They understand the hierarchies of responsibility at work. (Although the whole North Pole processing center is a team environment where Santa and the elves all ‘pull together’ to be ready for the one big night of the year, there is no denying that in the end, it all falls on those broad shoulders of the ‘big fella.’ If the task is not completed by Christmas morning, there will only be one guy whose neck is on the line and that won’t be one of the thousands of elves or Rudolph or Prancer or Dancer or any of the other reindeer. No – the buck very firmly stops with Santa.)
  • Sameness: Someone who likes stability and security. They are more interested in keeping things the same as they were before. (When it comes to change either rapid or progressive, Santa is not your guy. The one thing you can rely on with Santa Claus is that he has been happily settled in the same role for many hundreds of years before this year and he will most probably be happy to remain in the same role doing the same thing for many hundreds of years to come, as long as there are little children whose hearts depend on him and his work.)
  • Structure: Someone who likes to organise and put the structures in place which are required to gain optimum effect. They like to plan and structure resources from an organisational point of view. (Santa is not big on analysis or conceptualising. He knows the concept ‘inside out’ so he doesn’t need to dwell on it — it is to gladden the hearts of little children around the world. So Santa prefers to focus purely and simply on the planning and preparation and organising of resources that will allow him to perform to the best of his best ability on that one night in the year when it’s all ‘on the line’.)
  • Affiliation: Someone who is strongly motivated by being part of a group where he belongs and in being liked. Rapport, empathy, inclusion and mutual respect play a significant part in this pattern. (Yep Santa loves to be loved and he loves to love those to whom he has devoted his life’s work. Enough said on that one.)
  • Achievement: Someone who is motivated to achieve outcomes. They seek out challenging tasks that are linked to their personal performance. They are more likely to persist longer, as long as there is a reasonable chance of success. (One could never say that Santa doesn’t revel in the thrill of the challenge. His appetite for a challenge and his willingness to persist in the face of adversity has been proven over the centuries. Somehow, in the end he always finds a way to deliver ‘the goods’.)
  • Compliance to Rules: Someone who is willing to follow the rules and policies of the organisation and is an excellent role model for what is defined as good conduct. (There is arguably no better role model than Santa.)
  • Convinced by Reading: Someone who prefers to read information and other written material to become convinced. Reasoning, sense and logic are a major part of this method of being convinced. (Although I am sure that Santa always has his ‘ear to the ground’ and ‘his eyes peeled’ when he is assessing who has been naughty not nice over the twelve months, in the end most of his decisions on ‘who gets what’ relies on reading all of the millions of letters of request he receives from his doting fans throughout the world every year.)
  • Convinced Automatically: Someone who is adept at gleaning a small amount of information in order to quickly project the rest of the information for understanding. (Santa only needs to read each letter once, and from that point onwards he’s made his decision, placed the order with his elves, and moved on to the next request. It doesn’t take any more than one reading for Santa to be convinced that the request is genuine and the child is deserving.)
  • Focus on People: Someone who works best with people and their feelings. They are motivated by working with or around people and are often found in mentoring roles. (If you know Santa like I do you won’t need any further convincing that this is one of his driving passions.)
  • Focus on Time: Someone who is very concerned about planning, allotting time and working within schedules. Deadlines and timing form a critical part of the work they do. (Santa is the grandmaster at working to a deadline.)
  • Focus on Activity: Someone who likes being active and productive, having plenty to do (feeling busy). They focus on what needs to be done in terms of specific activities. (With Santa, there is no such thing as idle time. Every day he is ‘on the go’ keeping busy with reading letters; feeding reindeer; ‘geeing’ up the troops; helping on the production lines; chatting with the ‘spy elves’. There’s never a moment to spare in his ultra busy life.)

So if you want to hire a Santa equivalent as your next global CEO/leader, now you know specifically what to look for. And because no two profiles are the same, you now have the exact “motivational fingerprint” to commence your executive search. Happy headhunting… and have a safe and joyous Christmastime filled with love and laughter amongst those who are near and dear to you.  

Until next time… Let’s seek to understand more and judge less.   Have an amazing week – Brian

Precision Profiling – What Makes You Tick?  Through ‘Motivational Fingerprinting’ we uncover what you do, how you do it and why you do it, and most importantly, the hidden patterns that lead to your success, and that of your staff.

About Brian Clark

Brian Clark is the principal director of Precision Profiling®.

He is a renowned practitioner, writer and speaker on building total customer cultures; values driven leadership and world best practice strategy and implementation.

He has been a guest lecturer on world best practice for the executive management programme at Monash University’s business college (Mt Eliza campus); an adviser to and key note speaker for the Singapore Productivity Association and a consultant to many major Australian and overseas corporations and government departments.

Read more about Brian Clark Here

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