I am always surprised by the impact that just one person can have on a team or an organization. In particular, the speed which that effect takes place. I have seen examples in multinational enterprises, where the appointment of a new CEO resulted in a change of atmosphere within a few weeks. This phenomenon happened not just to the people working closely with the CEO, but also with people who had never even met the new CEO. The impact was felt in areas of the business thousands of miles away from the company headquarters.

It is not that simple to indicate how, when, or under which conditions this powerful effect takes place. There’s no doubt that leaders like this radiate powerful energy that inspires others to change their behavior. A great leaders’ presence is so powerful that they immediately attract attention when they enter the room, we tend to think that this kind of charisma is innate. Sometimes we make assumptions that they have always been leaders, even as youngsters in high school, and continued their leading role in their professional careers. However, this is only partly true.  It is undoubtedly true that some people have different talents, and a few of them happen to have more natural ability for a leadership role than others.

Leadership by itself is no different than any other talent, it is a skill developed through repetition and hard work. In order to reach the top, these people will have to develop and build on their abilities. Otherwise, they will surely be outpaced by one who rose to the occasion and steadily sharpened their ability to lead.

The irrefutable fact is that skilled leaders have a significant impact on an organization. The positive influence of a strong leader can be immense, just as the negative influence of poor leadership can have a far-reaching impact across an organization. It is of utmost importance to always be aware of the potential legacy a new leader may have on your business.

This means that any organization looking for a new leader, at all levels, must carefully identify the needs of the team or organization at that particular time, with a clear understanding of the kind of leader needed to realize such change. In such a complicated process, it is helpful to include fresh perspectives of a relative outsider, or an executive search firm experienced in assessing and placing great leadership talent.