Monday, March 30th, 2015

CEO QUALITIES I’VE WATCHED THAT WORK

I have studied and taught and assessed leaders using all kinds of models.
I was going to look up a few to stress the differences and to see how outdated they are, IF they are.

Instead, I decided to share what I have seen work for outstanding CEO’s.

l.  They are in touch with the business they head. They go in close to customers and to the associates who touch the customer. They stay in touch with the trends in the business and explore new options. They watch the world and see its impact on their organization. 

2. They walk the thin line between bold and protective. They put pressure on needed change while protecting what is working right. They are graceful in bringing about change–even drastic change. Their timing is impeccable.

3.  They know the gossip of the company. Oh, yes–gossip. They stay in touch with the hidden stories behind the overt action. They do this through day to day contact and being great listeners. They have a cadre of confidantes they can ask for the underbelly discussions taking place in their company.

4.  They are constantly making course corrections of every kind without losing the focus of the primary targets. They correct and encourage and get mad at poor judgment and actions but never ever punish or shame a person.

5.  They are fair in hiring and promotions. They have a spelled out process and stick to it so that people understand what is needed to get hired and how to develop that skill. People know they have a fair chance at any position. Hiring and promotion discussions could go out on youtube and would be respected.

6.  They tell the story of the company so that history and context make sense of the position and challenges of the company in the present. They make strategy
clear, (no business babble) worth the effort, believable, steady and satisfyingly
possible.

7.  They create hope and optimism. They are hopeful and optimistic. Even in crisis or a horrible hit to the business, they see the way clear and convey it a through their person more than their words.  

8.  They ring true as a person.  They are congruent in thought, behavior and 
words.  This doesn’t mean they aren’t odd, or have goofy habits, or are not annoying.  It means they make sense as a person and can be counted on and known.  There is a kind of security in relationships.

Models galore exist for leadership.  These are some of my observations from up close work with CEO’S.  For what it’s worth.

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