Skip to main content
Leadership Advisory

Beyond the Resume: How to Spot the Right Tech Leader

By November 23, 2023No Comments

Leadership compatibility can look very different depending on a number of factors, including a company’s stage, its business vision, the complexities of its domain, its work culture, and the dynamics of its team. It might sound puzzling but it’s crucial to navigate this labyrinth to ensure your business’s future is in safe hands! And we do it on a daily basis! So what are the metrics we monitor? Today, we are here to reveal the trade secret.  

The prime question is WHAT should we measure while hiring technology leaders? Should we assess their technological agility? People management skills? Business acumen? — the checklist is extensive and the stakes are high! 

As a leadership search firm, we pay attention to both sides of the coin – the client’s pain points and the candidate’s career aspirations. Creating a synergy between these two can result in an effective placement. Because, let’s face it, leadership hiring is not a vacancy-filling game; it’s about strategizing for future sustainability. 

To balance these two, we formulated our proprietary Behavioural Metrics Model (BMM). BMM works on 83+ parameters that best define a candidate’s personality, skill set, attributes, and adaptability. 

Assessing the Leadership Fitment with BMM Framework 

Finding the right leadership fit using BMM framework

1. Technology Agility: 

Emerging brands, including startups and companies in their initial stages, typically seek hands-on involvement from technology leaders. On the other hand, established organizations with a large workforce often prioritize leaders capable of constructing and overseeing engineering teams while aligning with the organization’s vision for scalability. Technology agility emerges as an indispensable criterion for leaders in both contexts in the dynamic tech leadership landscape.

Technology agility not only assesses a leader’s core technological competencies but also their potential to lead their team through future disruptions. It’s essential for tech leaders to anticipate and strategically plan for future shifts. This involves aligning the organization’s technological roadmap with broader business goals.

2. People Potential: 

People potential is a fundamental element that goes beyond technical skills and delves into a leader’s ability to nurture, develop, and inspire their team members. To build a sustainable technology and business roadmap, cross-functional collaboration and creative problem-solving are crucial at every step. People skills help a tech leader create a harmonious workplace and boost the team’s business success.   

Analyzing the leader’s talent retention strategy, ability to drive engineering agility in the team, and initiatives to promote innovation are crucial before positioning the person at the helm of an organization. This metric encompasses the leader’s ability to mentor, coach, and provide constructive feedback, thereby fostering an environment of continuous learning, collaboration, and professional development. 

3. Motivational Potential: 

Closely connected with people potential, Motivational Potential sheds light on a leader’s capacity to inspire, empower, and drive optimal performance within their team. Leaders with high motivational potential excel in their ability to ignite passion, commitment, and ownership among team members. 

Effective leaders communicate a compelling vision that aligns with individual and collective goals. This metric evaluates a leader’s proficiency in conveying a sense of purpose, clarifying expectations, and cultivating a work environment where team members are inspired to exceed expectations. Such leaders are adept at cultivating resilience and adaptability within their teams. This involves instilling a growth mindset, encouraging risk-taking, and celebrating both successes and learning opportunities. 

4. Change Potential: 

In an environment where technological advancements and market dynamics can shift rapidly, a leader’s capacity to embrace and drive change becomes a strategic advantage. Before getting a leader onboard, it’s essential to evaluate the leaders’ capabilities in abetting business growth from 0-1x, 1-10x, and 10-100x. In our legacy of conducting tech leadership search, we have witnessed tech leaders adept with high change potential driving transformation across business, engineering, product, and people – often fostering a 360-degree digital transformation. 

Such leaders demonstrate an openness to novel ideas, methodologies, and organizational structures, positioning change as an opportunity for growth rather than a disruption. This metric evaluates a leader’s strategic approach to change, encompassing their capability to align transformative initiatives with long-term stability.

The metric also assesses a leader’s aptitude for managing and mitigating the challenges associated with change. They should be able to identify potential roadblocks, develop contingency plans, and rally their teams to overcome obstacles.

5. Intellectual potential:

Intellectual Potential offers valuable insights into a leader’s capacity for critical thinking, innovation, and strategic foresight. For instance, leaders with high intellectual potential demonstrate analytical thinking that enables them to assess complex situations, discern patterns, and make informed decisions. 

Beyond immediate challenges, the leaders should possess a futuristic vision for the organization. Visionary thinking contributes to strategic planning, guiding the organization toward sustainable growth and innovation.

6. Personal attributes: 

Transcending professional achievements, Personal Attributes reveal the intrinsic qualities that shape a leader’s character, influence, and capacity to inspire. For instance, leaders endowed with high emotional intelligence can communicate effectively, nurture collaboration, and contribute to a harmonious organizational culture. 

Influential leaders possess a wealth of empathy and finely honed interpersonal skills. These personal attributes enable leaders to communicate effectively, resolve conflicts with tactics, and forge strong, collaborative relationships within and outside the organization. Also, humility distinguishes effective leaders. Those who acknowledge their team’s contributions, admit mistakes, and cultivate a collaborative atmosphere foster a culture of continuous learning and mutual respect. Passion and commitment are contagious attributes of impactful leaders. These personal qualities inspire dedication and loyalty, propelling teams towards shared goals and instilling a sense of shared purpose within the organizational ethos.

Culture Fit and Culture Add 

Assessing a leader’s alignment with a company’s values and organizational culture is pivotal in ensuring cohesive and effective leadership. Understanding leadership philosophy provides insights into their approach to teamwork, decision-making, and employee development. 

Alongwith blending into the existing organizational culture, it’s crucial for a leader to bring in new values that can usher in a new trajectory in the organization. Positioned at the helm of an organization, such tech leaders can create an inclusive culture where their team members from diverse backgrounds can thrive.

Defining Leadership Persona

At Purple Quarter, we profile our candidates in three broad categories after a thorough understanding of their leadership styles, personality traits, personal interests & likings, approach toward business management, decision making and so on. What are these three candidate profiles? Find out here.  

Wrapping Up 

Leadership assessment metrics extend beyond a leader’s current proficiency and explore their readiness to lead in dynamic and evolving environments. From driving immediate success to adopting transformative initiatives – leadership assessment is crucial to finding the right leadership fit for custom business needs.

Authored by Soumi Bhattacharya

For more information, please reach out to the Marketing Team.