Executive Leadership Traits That Accelerate M&A Integrations
Leadership StrategiesMergers, Acquisitions, and IntegrationsLeadershipBoard and CEO AdvisoryExecutive SearchBoard Director and Chair Search
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February 10, 2021
2 min read
Leadership StrategiesMergers, Acquisitions, and IntegrationsLeadershipBoard and CEO AdvisoryExecutive SearchBoard Director and Chair Search
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
For an effective integration, leaders to need to set a clear strategy, execute for strategy, create and lead teams, and build strong relationships.
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For a merger or acquisition to succeed, you need leaders who are familiar with the challenges and can guide your team through them.

We analyzed the profiles of 100+ executives who were under consideration to join a NewCo following a transaction and have outlined what distinguishes the top 10% of assessed executives from their peers.

Below are the skills and characteristics that lead to success in this type of environment.

PERSONALITY ATTRIBUTES OF AN EFFECTIVE INTEGRATION LEADER

Calm and Composed
● Maintains composure and resilience in environments defined by change and disruption
● Conveys a sense of thoughtful planning regarding NewCo’s future, despite the near-term turmoil of the integration

Ambitious and Optimistic
● Driven and results-oriented
● High levels of energy, assertiveness, and self-assuredness
● Sets the bar high for driving accountability and expectations for the team

Empathetic Influencer
● Adept in a variety of social environments
● Embraces collaboration with others
● Builds relationships and coalitions quickly by effectively “reading the room”
● Communicates confidently by creating trust and engagement with others

Curious and Thoughful
● Takes risks and explores new options in a structured manner
● Are not beholden to tried-and-true methods for achieving goals
● Institutionalizes industry best practices

LEADERSHIP COMPETENCIES OF AN EFFECTIVE INTEGRATION LEADER

Setting Strategy
● Adept at developing strategies that shape the enterprise
● Strong understanding of growth levers and can quickly translate data into action
● Balances the execution of near-term deliverables of the integration while keeping in mind long-term integration goals

Executing for Results
● Strives for best-in-class execution and are comfortable breaking new ground
● Thrives on identifying opportunities amid change and ambiguity
● Tests new and different approaches to improve the delivery of services and products
● Overcomes obstacles easily while demonstrating flexibility in finding solutions

Leading Teams
● Raises the collective performance of their teams
● Holds team members accountable for stretch goals
● Champions collaboration
● Enables leaders to inspire their teams
● Engenders trust and leverages it to the benefit of the organization

Building Relationships
● Deploys political and interpersonal savvy to drive a partocular agenda
● Distills strategy into clear goals that rally others into action
● Invests time in building strong relationships across the enterprise and consistently role models expected behaviors

SAMPLE SUCCESS PROFILE - HR INTEGRATION LEADER

Here is what an exceptional HR leadership profile might look like.

Strong HR Business Partner
● Coaches effectively at the top of the organization
● Reaches out to colleagues proactively across the business
● Reinforces and links the M&A business case to the enterprise talent agenda

Holds Others Accountable
● Believes in doing the right thing and stays close to what is important
● Drives tough decision-making regarding talent and is decisive in managing performance

Positive Facilitator
● Shows a positive attitude in the face of challenging people situations
● Provides an uplifting and realistic outlook on what the future holds for the business

Focus on Alignment
● Views all decisions and actions from multiple vantage points – both legacy organizations and NewCo
● Uses this insight to ensure leadership attends to these perspectives