Should Your Company Hire Conductors, Maestros or Navy Seal Commanders?

By Evelyn Milani

People with natural leadership capabilities are worth their weight in gold. Natural leaders are imperative to an organization to the point that an entire team will follow an effective leader when they resign to take a new position, which can be devastating for a company.

Some of the most effective leaders I have interviewed share common characteristics regardless of their leadership style. Common threads are delegation, mentorship capabilities, ability to co-create, articulate and get people on board with a common vision, ability to recognize and appreciate strengths and help hone areas to improve, ability to clear the bullsh*t for staff, and more.

Staff personalities are different, so consider hiring a diverse set of leadership styles. Some people respond well to a direct style (Navy Seal Commander), some need hands on (Maestro), some require a soft-touch (Conductor). Human nature provides that people gravitate to leaders with the style and personality that resonates with them. When I worked in the corporate world, I gravitated to the leadership style of the VP that my boss reported to. I resonated with her and felt energized around her, anxious to do my very best.

Navy Seal Commander

No nonsense, sense of extreme urgency, stays out of the way of the team during work, allows people to “succeed or fail-fast”, mission-driven, doesn’t play favorites, doesn’t coddle.


Hands-on, working alongside the team, continuous feedback, process-oriented, precision-driven, extremely creative.


Rallies around the team, everyone knows who is in control, traditional manager style, may tend to be more hands-on with staff.

Consider building a diverse leadership team so your teams have the benefit of people with the leadership styles they are comfortable with. Just make sure regardless of the style, the leader is highly reliant on team dynamics, understands and leverages each person’s strengths, knows enough about the context of the work to be a valuable resource to troubleshoot tough issues and understand what the team is going through at every phase of the work.

For help hiring high impact technical talent, write me at [email protected]