Leadership Qualities We Look For

What We Look for in our Leaders and Operating Partners

Many of the acquisition opportunities we review have ownership who want to retire. Ideally someone else in the business is ready to take on the leadership role. Not every business has that person though, so installing new leadership as part of a transaction is something we’re planning for. Doing so can be risky of course, so we are putting a lot of thought into the leadership qualities and attributes of potential operating partners that are ideal for Empowered Ventures operating companies.

Here is a summary of what we are looking for, all required and equally important:

  1. High integrity – Can we trust you? Will you do what is right even when its inconvenient? Enough said.
  2. High agency – People with high agency make things happen. They do not sit back and just let things happen. They understand that much of life is outside their control. Their reaction to that truth is to maximize their impact by focusing on what they truly can control and influence.
  3. Proven talent – Talent is a combination of experience, intelligence, and creativity, applied to get things done. A history of results and high performance is strong evidence of talent. Otherwise, talent is difficult to identify and quantify. We look for people with high potential too, but past results usually indicate future performance.
  4. Embraces employee ownership – Here’s where we’re a little different. In addition to 1-3, we also want leaders who appreciate the value and benefits of employee ownership and are excited to lead in that environment. Leading an employee-owned business requires a different mindset and approach, which we will explore more fully in a later post. (Sneak preview: no, everyone doesn’t get to vote on everything.)

Here is a terrific article about high agency, talent, and integrity that is consistent with our thinking for operating partners. We have the added requirement of embracing employee ownership.

Does this sound like you? If you are interested in leading one of our operating companies please contact us.

Tags: Leadership
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