The UK – and indeed most of the globe – is gripped with Royal baby fever. News reports and social media channels are all full of discussions surrounding the third in line to the throne. But as people continue to speculate about the name of the future King, I can’t help but put my leadership cap on and consider the pressure to perform as a leader that is already on this young Princes’ shoulders.
As heir to the throne, this child will be required to show the attributes and skills expected of an individual in such an important position. For the new Prince I am sure the guidance of his father, grandfather and even great-grandmother will set him well on the way to becoming a good leader. But as HR professionals, what should you look for in your own senior team?
It’s perhaps fair to say that the global business economy is constantly changing. In such an ambiguous environment an organisation needs a senior team that is able to adapt and mould to new challenges and opportunities. While sector-specific skill sets will remain consistent for an individual, HR teams need to identify how well a leader can transfer his or her skills across different requirements. This can range from using their sales background to implement a better marketing process, right through to down scaling their people management skills from larger teams to smaller, niche groups.
When you look at the monarchy, by the time the new Prince is on the throne it will be a completely new world to that in which his great-grandmother has reigned. So the ability to adapt easily will be crucial to his success.
Any individual at senior level will require good communications skills, but it’s important to remember this is needed at all levels. Different audiences require different approaches and messages; teams working directly with a leader will need guidance and direction whereas the board and stakeholders will be after strategy inputs, for example.
The new Prince, for example, will not only be responsible for communicating with the UK public and government officials, but also global leadership representatives. He will, therefore, be required to be a confident, well-rounded speaker.
When I say organisational skills, I’m not referring to just the time-keeping and work management required by the majority of employees. A great leader needs to be able to not only manage their commitments, but also those of the rest of the team, the expectations of the board and those of stakeholders as well. As such, they need to be able to juggle multiple tasks and most importantly delegate efficiently where required.
Again if we look at the Royal family, the Queen is in constant attendance at events nationwide and around the globe. Being able to keep up with everything that is going on requires not only personal management skills, but also a great deal of delegation to the vast team which supports her.
This is perhaps one of the greatest attributes of individuals at senior level. The attitude and behaviour of a leader feeds down to those he or she is in close contact with. As such, they need to be an inspirational figure that is capable of not only driving and motivating the teams they are responsible for, but also able to stand as an authoritative representative of the organisation.
It is in this particular element that the royal family is perhaps a better example than any other. Not only do they stand as an authoritative figure for the country, but they also inspire the nation during difficult times. The new Prince, then, will certainly have some big shoes to fill when he is on the throne.
The business arena is reliant on relationships. Whether this is developing new or growing existing ones, without good connections an organisation is at a distinct disadvantage and this is just as important internally as it is externally. A great leader will, therefore, need to demonstrate that they are a fantastic relationship builder who is able to build networks, bring in new business enquiries and gel well with existing teams within the organisation.
When you consider that the Queen is often the ‘face’ of the UK when building relationships with other nations it’s perhaps clear just how important a good leader is in growing and developing relationships. And as HR professionals it’s vital you are able to identify the senior talent that will fit with the organisations culture and work well as a relationship builder.
The future Prince certainly has a lot of expectations to live up already, but when you consider the leadership role models he has around him already he is perhaps in a great position to grow into a great leader. For HR professionals, though, the example of the Monarchy perhaps presents guidance as to the attributes HR professionals should be seeking in their leadership teams.
Mark Geraghty is Founder and Head of Otravida Search, an executive search and selection specialist that delivers the best in executive talent. With extensive experience in recruitment and executive search, Mark is dedicated to quickly deploying a range of solutions to meet client needs and solve problems. Having founded Otravida in 2011 he has built the business up to be the search partner of choice for many clients from blue-chips to SMEs to start-ups.