“I choose the company based on the leader,” I told the CSO.
This person had reached out for scientific leadership coaching and training for their Research group. In the first conversation, I realized I was assessing them as much as they were assessing me.
What would make someone want to work with this person, as a coach…or as an employee?
Here are some characteristics of a good scientific leader:
Trait #1: Self Awareness
I always ask: what type of a leader are you? If someone hasn’t thought about how they show up in the world, it will be hard for them to lead an effort for others do the same.
Trait #2: Interest in Their People
What does the leader understand about their employees’ strengths and weakness, and how do they speak about them? With respect? Compassion?
Trait #3 The Ability to Reflect
When presented with a question, do they take a moment to see it from different angles to understand what’s true for them?
Evaluating a leader is not an exact science. But when you are able to see past the title, reputation, knowledge, and apparent brilliance of any scientific leader, you’ll know if it’s the right fit.