Leadership Skills

21 September 2022

Skills for leadership success

Executive hiring has been quite intense in the Bulgarian market over the past few months.

Many companies, across different sectors, who wanted to attract best in class C-suite executives and senior leaders chose FPI Bulgaria as their partner seeking to ensure a significant pool of top-notch candidates.

Although technical expertise and proper managerial experience is what brings many candidates to the short-list, there are certain qualities, traits and characteristics that are strongly considered when it comes to the final choice for the position.

Approaching this with curiosity, we noticed that in these unusual, dynamic, and change-filled times employers are looking for some interesting combinations of timeless leadership qualities and provocative mindsets.

Communication skills, persuasion, decision making and change management are always on the list of preferred leadership characteristics that companies seek, and they are a non-negotiable attribute of successful candidates.

Some emerging skills and qualities are also becoming more and more crucial.

Currently, businesses are not just on the lookout for leaders who can properly and diligently manage transformations, but they are also searching for those who have the mindset to initiate changes, to facilitate new ideas, new ways of working and sometimes even new directions for the business.

Out-of-the-box thinking

Professionals who possess this quality are typically seen as outstanding candidates with great potential.

Resilience and cultural awareness

These skills have almost the same weight in the final selection as the technical skills required for the role. They have become highly desirable requirements for senior leaders.

Learning agility

Although this competence is not always clearly described and defined, many employers see it as the ability to easily learn and/or unlearn concepts, methods and approaches - the capacity to connect the dots and work with complex information.

Boldness of character / standalone leadership

This is a surprising and relatively new characteristic in high demand was the one described by clients as consisting of the ability to stay firmly behind a bold or unusual idea with the energy and courage to realize it and bring it to fruition - even without the initial support from others. Companies believe that leaders possessing this characteristic will be really a great asset who will not only help the business survive in this dynamic situation, but will also allow it to grow, expand and be more sustainable.

Although these conclusions are mainly based on our systematic observations and numerous interactions with the business related to Executive Search, we can say that there is a move away from the “ideal leadership candidate” template.

Traditional skillsets and managerial abilities are no longer sufficient to be a successful senior leadership candidate. Soft skills and personal characteristics have become more and more important in the selection process, and they deserve thorough investment and consideration from both C-suite candidates and businesses.


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