As with any highly competitive business environment you will know the commercial orientation of your managers makes all the difference, part boss, part coach, part friend. They inspire teams of people to perform during both good and bad times.
The most successful automotive organisations have strong commercial leaders who exercise leadership and establish a code of behaviour, usually unwritten, which they expect all team members to abide by. They employ their experiences to determine strategic direction and coach team members individually. Most importantly, they know how to keep the team on track, focused and winning.
But how do you find out if a candidate for your leadership job is everything they say they are, how do you get under the skin and test it?
At Gibson our specialist senior recruiters have been involved in leading teams of people in the most arduous of environments, both commercially and during combat operations. This puts them in a very select group of people who “really” understand what leadership is and how to identify individuals who “have what it takes” to be a great leader.
Using a combination of focused interviews, phsycometric analysis and assessment; our specialists assess leadership potential using our 8 dimensions of leadership model.
The model is unashamedly commercially focused and results oriented because we strongly believe that leaders create hard working winning teams through motivation not through endless “to-do” lists. The model seeks to identify:
The best commercial leaders are fixated upon achieving targets and are deadline driven. They have the natural disposition to fixate their team on achieving their revenue goals at the exclusion of all else. They block out distractions and compartmentalise negative news that might sidetrack their team or cause their department to flounder. They keep their team focused and moving forward with a sense of urgency, regardless of the circumstances.
Motivation and Morale
Motivation and Morale
Operational leaders will closely monitor the motivation and morale of the team, balancing their approach accordingly to encourage optimum performance from each individual. They are not autocratic, they seek to establish an environment where team members continually seek to perform, thereby driving higher overall departmental performance.
Operations is a coaching-based profession, and a key differentiator of great commercial leaders is their ability to dispense tactical advice and add value during operational activities. Great commercial leaders understand that there is a diversity of operational styles by which people can achieve success. Therefore, they don’t employ a one-size-fits-all coaching style. Rather, they adapt their style to suit each individual.
Leaders are first and foremost tasked with delivering results. Continuously delivering results through the consistent application of leadership will require leaders to align assets and overcome obstacles, objections and setbacks.
Great commercial leaders establish a firm sense of leadership of a team holding the team to a higher level of accountability. Operational leaders will seek to direct the team toward a common mission. They will often break objectives down into smaller daily targets so creating an environment where the team can achieve small wins, thus instilling quickly a winning mindset.
All commercial leaders are battlefield commanders who must devise the organisation’s strategy to defeat the competition. This requires plotting the best course of action to maximise commercial advantage and of course profitability. The depth of a manager’s commercial instinct—the practical knowledge gained from the experiences of participating in operational activities is directly associated with their success.
In a position of leadership stress at work is part of the deal, workplace stress has been on the rise for many years now. When people are feeling overwhelmed they are unable to cope with adversity and are often paralysed by inaction. This decreases productivity and increases other organisational costs.
But it is not the stress that diminishes our engagement and our productivity at work, but rather how we respond to stress. We all have an inherent negativity bias which can obstruct our ability to view the sources of stress in our lives as positive or as opportunities. Leaders who have a resilient mindset approach stress and pressure at work in a productive manner and are not paralysed by it.
Change is a constant and nowhere more so than within operations. Good commercial leaders will adapt their plan, methods of working and lead their teams through change in order to create positive solutions and take advantage of situations and opportunities as they present themselves.