I sympathize with executives entering the job market. The Great Resignation makes it easier for leaders to write their own tickets. Improve the bottom line while demonstrating empathetic leadership throughout the organization, navigating a remote-work environment, and shifts in meetings are some of the things that leaders are asked to do more than ever.
There is more reason for leaders to have a clear idea of what they are expected to do. They might not be presented with one.
Many C-suite tenures go badly or are unnecessarily truncated because the jobs weren’t well- structured and the goals weren’t clear according to a recent article at the MIT Sloan Management Review. They wrote that individuals step into roles that are poorly designed and end up leaving or being asked to leave.
Individuals can either leave or be asked to leave.
The time and expense of hiring is one of the consequences. Expectations for how a new C-level leader will impact the company should match the responsibilities given to the leader as well as the desired.
The lack of specificity in the job specifications was found by the authors. When leaders fail to be transformation-y enough, they end up on the Outs. Women and people of color in the C-suite are more vulnerable to this treatment because they are often put into leadership roles during a crisis.
The authors suggest that organizations make two key adjustments. To make sure that the responsibilities of the leadership role are aligned with the candidate’s skill set, and what the candidate is allowed to do, is one of the things that can be done. Specific metrics for success are the second thing. Driving membership growth by X percent in the next year is one of the things called drive growth.
For the association CEO who isn’t going anywhere, hiring for direct reports offers a good opportunity to work on this alignment–what do they really want a new hire to accomplish in the role, and have they clearly defined what skills are needed to accomplish them? It’s a good idea for association professionals to think about the alignment gaps when they’re testing the job market. Is the hiring committee aware of the obstacles that a candidate might face in order to succeed?
According to Cynthia Mills, founder of Leaders Haven, the Pandemic has caused both employers and candidates to get more detail oriented when it comes to hiring. There are fewer positions on hiring committees. She told me at the time that they were not in a trusting space. We are in a time of uncertainty. It is a good idea for leaders to be clear about what they need.
Does your association handle job specifications in a different way? In the comments, tell your story.
The images are from savesay Chiosea/iStock.