Let's talk skilled craftsmen. Not just mechanics or Millwrights, but the ones that are truly hard to find. I think every blue collar industry has one or two of these type of jobs. Take Sawfiling, in the sawmilling industry it is a specialty unto itself. It is not millwright or electrician, it is a mix between machinist and voodoo (it is, indeed, often referred to as black magic....no joke). It is a craft that is so specific in it's skill set that very few people choose to do it and, as a result, the few people that choose Sawfiling as a profession, are good at it, and show a spark of leadership ability become well compensated very quickly.
Normally, the answer to a lot of problems in finding leaders for this type of niche craft is to grow your own from within. If that fails you find yourself having to decide if your geneology has gone wrong. I am not talking names, ethnicity, or what royal family members you may or may not have been related to in the past thousand years. I am talking about a line of training that puts niche craftspeople into a school of thought, philosophy, or overall attitude.
Specialized craftspeople operate in tight circles. Rumors fly quickly through these groups and almost everyone knows everyone, at least by reputation. If you are looking for a change in philosophy, technique, or ability pay attention to where your current craft philosophy is coming from. You can often trace who was trained by who until you get to some common denominators, that can show you the true differences. Of course, individual ability still comes into play.
I am truly curious if anyone has come into contact with searches of these kind. It has been one of the most interesting searches I have ever done, because of it's complexity and difficulty. Any niche crafts I need to be aware of?