How can I test a person has strong leadership skills?
I am looking for a Cofounder that is on an equity sharing basis. How do I know that this person will be a strong leader and is good at execution? Is there a way to test their skills and check whether he/she possesses a growth mindset?
Confidence, honesty, discipline, transparency are some qualities that a leader should have. Moreover, along with all these he should have good convincing power.
1. Ask them some questions like:
Can you describe your leadership style? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Can you tell me about a project where you led a team to increase performance, sales etc.? What do you think a business needs in place to grow? What do you think your leadership brings to a team? etc.
2. Check their LinkedIn profile, sometimes their projects are listed, reviews, awards, and volunteer work.
3. Do some online research. Success leaves clues.
4. Ask for references
You are looking for three things: Leader, execution and growth mindset.
1. Leadership. By definition a leader has followers. Ask him/her how many people would follow him/her to this new company. That's the acid test. Forget all this stuff about leadership style. A leader has followers; period. And, people who will leave their current job to follow them to your startup is real proof.
2. Execution. Ask for proof of projects they have started and finished. Ask for examples of projects that went out of control how they handled them.
3. Growth mindset. You got me on this one.
BTW, anyone good at what they do will be asking you those same questions. How will you prove you have those attributes? That might give you insights in how to ask for proof from them
Measuring Emotional Intelligence is a good way of testing leadership skills. I know of a good and thorough online test that offers a one-to-one feedback session too, for minimal cost. I can put you in touch with the professor who offers this if you would like.
Need to understand whether you have what it takes to lead others? Excellent leaders bring out the best in the people around them. It takes a certain natural tendency combined with learned skills to be a great leader. While few people are certainly not cut out to head up a group, others just need a boost from some leadership training courses. The following assessment will determine your Leadership Skills and Style - whether you possess the personality traits and skills that characterize great leaders.
Follow me @
Give them something new and simple to do and see if they use their intelligence and ask questions. Then you will learn how they think and act and make a decision accordingly.
It's a great question. How do you know, without exposure and or damage.
One way is to place the candidate, under stress during the Interview, just to see how they react.
Such things as interruptions, having them wait, or having them repeat themselves, or explain themselves further.
Another way is via physiological profiling.
there are many different websites which offer psychological testing.
One such site, which not only provides self analysis testing, but also handy information relating to many different aspects is a site called
Maybe if you are looking to your best fit, you could ask then final 3 to undertake some type of test or tests.
The first question I have is do you have a set of criteria for the leadership model you want to hire. The most effective leaders have different qualities at various levels in the organization. Regardless of the level, I find the most successful leaders are vision casters, servant leaders, and able to have a history of putting teams together that complement their strengths and address their weaknesses. The best way to find out is to "interview" the people they have worked with and for. This will flush out the characteristics the person has exhibited from real live work situations. Putting people under fire as part of the hiring process can be artificial in terms of seeking the true character of the person you want to hire.
Ping me if you want to have a longer conversation around this topic and I can speak with you real time.
This is a big decision and there is no exact science. Think of it another way. Who is the best person you ever worked for? Why?
True leaders have insight about their accomplishments AND their failures. Ask your candidate to describe a situation that was a major issue and did not turn out as they expected. Ask them what they did to turn things around or get beyond the unfavorable results. If they cannot think of any failures or give examples of pseudo failures, they probably have never been tested in the real world.