The higher up you go, the more important of a hiring decision it becomes. Hiring an executive director is a vital strategic decision. They have a significant influence and impact on your organization in many ways. You need to put the time into your executive search to find the right person to take on this leadership role in your company.

Making the right hiring decision is paramount.

What should you be looking for in a candidate? There are certain traits all executive directors share – industry experience, a track record of success, strong communication skills – but what about the often overlooked or unexpected traits?

Here are some unexpected traits to look for when assessing executive director candidates:

1. Vision

All strong leaders have a vision. They can see where an organization is going tomorrow, a few months from now, and understand the long term direction. They see the big picture and they have a vision that is innovative, they think outside the box, and they have a desire to do things in a unique manner.

2. Focus

Having a vision is one thing, but being focused on that vision takes things to the next level. Effective executive directors are dedicated to the strategic direction of the company. They make sure there is buy-in at all levels of the company and take steps to ensure all strategic plans are executed as planned.

3. A Strong Presence

An executive director needs to have a strong professional image. They often serve as an ambassador for your company. They need to look and act the part. Having a strong professional presence can help build credibility for your company both internally and externally.

4. The Ability to Take a Step Back

Executive Talent

Effective executive directors have the ability to see things through an objective lens. They can take a step back and see things for what they really are. They focus on facts rather than bias. Executive directors are also not afraid to get outside opinions and gather feedback from others before making important strategic decisions.

5. Team Building

One of the most overlooked but important traits an executive director requires is the ability to build strong relationships. They need to be able to build strategic partnerships, build a strong internal team, and recruit the best people to work for the organization.

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IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across the country. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Executive Search / Board & C-Suite, Technology, Media, Digital & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Financial Services & Insurance, Cannabis, Startup, Data Science, Consumer, eCommerce & Retail, Operations & HR, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Engineering, Legal & Professional Services, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Non-Profit & Sustainability, and Sales. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Bruce Powell Executive Search

Bruce Powell

Bruce co-founded IQ PARTNERS in 2001 and currently operates as Managing Partner. His personal background includes hands-on management experience in sales, marketing and marketing services. He has built management teams for a wide variety of marketing, communications, media and technology companies. He has also participated in several M&A transactions for service-based companies and is frequently called upon as a resource in the planning and negotiation of such deals.

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