In my previous articles, I have described the kind of leadership qualities that I feel is most important to possess. Conversely, both “personal humility” and “professional will” are the roots of all other qualities from which they manifest. True leadership after all is inversely proportional to the exercise of power. A true leader uses influence, respect, and buy-ins of his followers more than the exercise of coercion, intimidation and control. Therefore, you are only a leader if and only if people follow your leadership when they have the freedom not to.
Insecure leaders are never comfortable in an environment where their followers can fire their own bosses but true leaders are. Insecure leaders employ a system or mechanism of coercion, intimidation and control. True leaders are confident even under such an environment where they can be fired anytime by their followers because they know that they will always have the support, respect and approval of their followers. This is not about popularity. People follow because they believe and trust the person leading them. It is that plain and simple.
In leadership selection, the choice to hire internally or externally will always result in controversy. Both venues have reasonable pros and cons, and depending on the need, purpose and circumstances, one nevertheless will come out more appealing than the other. As experts would put it, every great organization is characterized by dual action – to preserve the core and to stimulate progress. Put another way, an organization needs to preserve its core values and fundamental purpose and on the other hand, the organization needs to stimulate progress or positive change. Internal selection would clearly preserve the core, but may not necessarily stimulate much progress or positive change. The opposite is true for sourcing externally. Since they are not from within, then they are likely to introduce different approaches, experiences, mindset, etc., therefore, may likely promote and stimulate change or progress.
I personally favor sourcing from within but first, allow me to redefine the lines and boundaries of what I consider internal and external. What do I mean?
I do not think of internal as being inside the organization and external coming from the outside of the organization. Instead, I would like to see it in the context of my company’s core values and fundamental purpose, not by referencing organizational boundaries. Instead of looking at a candidate based on whether he or she is an employee or not, I would closely examine his or her core values instead. The more the candidate is aligned with our organization, the more “from with in” the candidate appears to me.
Same goes true for employees who are already in the organization. They may be from with in but if their core values are not aligned with the organization nor do they not subscribe to the company’s fundamental purpose. Thus, for all intents and purposes, the employee is clearly an outsider for me.
It is amazing how my options opened up and how my horizons broadened up by just simply adjusting my perspective. I am able to select from more candidates, ensure the preservation of my core values and purpose, and give my organization a likely chance to foster and promote progress.