– Ioana Hincu
Oana Ciornei, Managing Partner at Amrop Romania and Member of Amrop Global Board, talked to us in the Online Leadership Forum, organized last week by Sfera Business, about one of our favorite topics, leadership, from the point of view of an expert in executive search.
In her almost 14 years carreer in executive search, Oana met lots of leaders and people that were expected to become leaders – in Amrop they even have the slogan “Leaders for what’s next”.
Oana believes that “Talent cannot exist in vacuum and the power of an organization lies in its teams. Truly exceptional leaders leave a legacy and change the organization’s culture, because they know very well that, at the end of the day, indeed, you bet on people, not on strategies.
Question: “What do those leaders need to become good and effective for what’s next?”
Oana’s answer: “A common feature of good and effective leaders is that they NEVER STOP LEARNING. […] In recruitment, for an upper management position, the focus was almost every time on leaders who deliver results. It’s an important thing, it’s the way they are assessed, the way organizations are measured. In recent years, however, we have witnessed a shift from results delivery to sustainable results delivery, for the long term, and from <superman> type leaders to leaders that create high-performance teams. […] We learned from our candidates that their energy, motivation and professional pride comes from the fact that they can leave a legacy in the organization they work in, in their team or in the industry in which they operate.”
“Following the studies made by Amrop, we found some features in different contexts, therefore we have a ’map’ to guide – the profile of leaders for what’s next:
- Mental agility: intellectual abilities and comfort with which a person can analyze a complicated issue, to make connections, then explain things in a simple way, so anyone can understand – that says a lot about the candidate.
- Values: once you know your values, you can make decisions easier. […] Talking about them helps us understand if a candidate could stay in an organization for the long term or not.
- Self-awareness: only when you start knowing what you don’t know, then you realize how little you actually know..
- The right motivation: motivation to learn, to grow, to teach other people, to develop in the respective role, determination. For top management positions, having the right motivation is critical!
- Portability & fit:
– Know-how portability – for example, it is very easy to see that lots of the challenges we used to find in a specific industry a few years ago we now find in other industries.
– Very important, when thinking about career transition – some transitions are easy to make, some of them require time and a sustained learning effort.
– Portability means that, when we recruit for a specific industry, we don’t look strictly for that industry, but also for other industries from which talent could come – this is where the portability of industry comes in.
– Similarly, we can talk about the portability of products, services or culture, or even in the way team management is done and how hierarchies are organized in a company. A constant factor that we’ve seen in the last searches we’ve made – organizations want to change, the digital transformation is on their agenda. […] I think technology taught us not to expect things to be perfect! Organizations must be more tolerant of mistakes and accept that things can be done 10 times faster, but in stages, and there may be a percentage of failure or error.
- Culture of trust: the most expensive thing in an organization is the lack of trust. Trust is essential, a culture based on trust is critical!
- Collaboration & co-creation: any top leader who succeeds in collaborating both internally and externally, to create strategic partners with which to transform their organization, to co-create, I’ve seen it added results in the organization’s P&L.”
Question: “How do you think that the time we are going through affects the way companies look at people?”
Oana’s answer: “Now, there’s a greater concern for people than it used to be. It should be part of the new normality. There should be more honest discussions, a dialog with the immediate superior, so they understand their problems, their concerns, to not be afraid of losing their jobs.”
Question: “Talking about career transition – what will happen from the companies point of view and what will happen from the employee’s point of view after this period?”
Oana’s answer: “The technology part must become a norm. We have to understand how a programming language works – this is where I see the role of the companies in career transition. Organizations have to look at the map of capabilities they want to develop. Where they can’t develop, they buy. Companies should guide their employees in this direction.
As for the employees, my advice is to stop waiting for a development plan from their employer. If you want to do something, make your own plan. […] there are so many resources now – business schools, internet documentation, discussion forums..there’s a fantastic learning opportunity!”
We were very pleased to listen to Oana Ciornei talking about leadership. She brought a new perspective on the topic: that of an expert in executive search, and she caught our attention with every example given to us from her experiences. In the end, she also gave us some good advice! We are glad we had her as our guest!
We invite you to read about the Online Leadership Academy as well – a program that brings concepts useful and practical for participants to learn and develop essential leadership skills. For more details, please go to the following link: