International corporations usually are in search of a unique breed of leader. Strategic priorities usually are framing ever more specialised requirements for new exec hires and the selective upgrading of existing management roles.

As global markets continue to distance themselves from economic upheaval, superior executive talent is more and more seen as an important lever to calibrate investment in new markets, new products and new enhancements.

With existing management teams stretched to capacity over the past few years, the time has come to reinvest in high performers and to appeal to the kind of proven leaders who can effectively lead and inspire others while shouldering the pressure of increased performance expectations.

Most companies are usually unwilling to place large bets on untested managers. Many are already undertaking executive search programmes to search for richly experienced leaders with a track record of making tough decisions that improve the bottom line. The fact is, today’s search for business results is a search for both experience and agility.

Global business leaders in today’s economic environment generally agree that, at least for the foreseeable future, business decisions will need to be made faster, teams will need to collaborate more effectively than ever, and data needs to inform decisions, not limit them.

Today’s business mantra suggests that one thing is certain: leaders will be faced with more volatility, uncertainty, change, and ambiguities than they have faced before. This explains why there is such a large premium on the right mix of leadership experience and specialised know-how.

Yet it is agility – the capacity to move quickly and easily through a potential minefield of business problems – that is mounting in importance when it comes to finding and attracting business leaders who can make an immediate, and also lasting impact.

The capacity to be open-minded enough to consider the full implications of their decisions and their interactions with colleagues, subordinates and customers is a critical leadership trait. Mental agility requires top leaders to abandon cognitive rigidity and absorb the full panoply of solutions to problems, especially those they have not encountered before.

While businesses around the world charge toward improved performance and results, they must illustrate a willingness to test prospective new hires’ genuine agility. After all, if the planet we’ve known for so long is changing so quickly around us, the very best executives will show they have what it takes to adjust, modify and change course as and when necessary – and know when to stick to their convictions.

Copyright TRANSEARCH International

Executive search firm TRANSEARCH International has representation in most of the major economic centres of the world with 59 offices in 37 countries. TRANSEARCH International was founded in 1982 and is a leading international executive search firm. Searching For The Agile (And Proven) Leader