Top 3 Qualities of an Executive Director

Effective Executive Director Qualities

3 Qualities to Look for in an Executive Director

The higher up you go in the management ladder, the more important it is that you are hiring the right person for the job. An executive director has a crucial role in any business and is a key part of its strategic vision, responsible for designing, developing, and implementing strategic plans for the organization. As a leader they are also responsible for motivating employees and setting an example that sets the tone of the company culture.


With such an important role on the line, there is a lot of pressure to make sure that you are hiring the right person for the job. Experienced executive recruiters recommend looking for these qualities in a candidate when hiring an executive director.

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#1. Targeted Vision

As already discussed, establishing a company vision is one of the responsibilities of the executive director, and thus it’s important that you assess your candidate’s capacity to see the big picture and create a strategic plan. Ask them about what they would do with the company once in the role – where do they see it going? What plans would they implement to make it happen? What kind of company culture would they like to promote? These questions will help you determine whether or not your candidate is suitable for the role.

#2. Leadership Quality

Your executive director often serves as the face of a company, and thus they need to have a professional image that exudes leadership and confidence. If they are able to look and act the part, then people will feel more trusting of your company and its credibility.



While it’s not always easy to tell if someone is leader-material, there are a number of tell-tale signs. Do they dress for the part and are they well-groomed and put-together? Do they have good posture, maintain eye-contact, and give a firm handshake? These are all things to look out for during the interview.

#3. Team-Oriented Managment

Headhunters note that the most overlooked quality of a good executive director is their ability to build and maintain relationships. They need to be able to find and create strategic partnerships with external parties, promote teamwork within the company, and surround themselves with talented people. It’s also important that they are able to recognize the hard work and success of individuals within the organization, and reward them accordingly. This will set the tone for how people are motivated to work and encourage them to perform better.

This trait is hard to judge without asking scenario and behaviour-focused questions. Inquire about situations in the past where they succeeded at a task. If every example focuses solely on their efforts and fails to mention teamwork, then this could be considered a huge warning sign.Look instead for a person who praises the efforts of a whole team and of the people working under them. Not only does this show that your candidate is team-oriented but also that they can be humble.


Don’t Leave It to Chance

If you’re struggling to find someone for the role of executive director, don’t just hire someone hoping to get lucky. Call on an executive recruiter instead who has the experience to find the right person for the job.

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