Hiring leaders in pairs

The status quo is to hire leaders and manager one at a time. Normally leadership positions become available one at a time, making this sequential hire a necessity.  But what if we hired pairs at a time?  CEO and CFO together, President and Academic Dean together?

My organization is currently in the unique position of having both top leadership positions open.  Wouldn't it be great if we can do the hire in pairs with the intent of forming a stunning team?

Team and individual assessments such as 5Dynamics, firo-b, meyers-briggs all conclude that a well balanced team is a powerful team.  The members of a powerful team balance each other in skills, learning styles and personality.  This balance is important for leadership that is resilient to changes and market forces.

While evaluating the performance of individuals alone is the simpler and the politically correct way to do things, it does not reflect the reality of great performances.  Great performances are achieved by great teams, not great individuals.  Just as a great movie is the result of many people behind the scenes, a CEO may start a project but a great team delivers the product.   I do not wish to undermine the ability of the leader to pull the great team together, in fact I believe that is the singular most important contribution of a great leader.

So what does that mean for hiring leaders?
1. Great performance is the result of a great teams, not just a great individual.
2. Great leaders are great because they form great teams.

This means, whenever possible, we should be hiring great teams instead of individuals.  Businesses have discovered this and by hiring consulting firms, they enable the hiring of a great team instead of individuals.

Great leaders are great because they form great teams.  That means when we interview for a CEO, provided other leadership positions are open, we want to test his or her ability to form a great team.  This ability should be demonstrated during the interview process, and the leadership pair, or team, should be hired in one fell swoop.