“Every CEO is in fact a Chief Cultural Officer. The terrifying thing is it’s the CEO’s actual behavior… that defines what the culture is.”
– Scott Berkun
In business it is critical that executive leadership also be effective, but what makes a leader effective? It’s commonly thought that a leader needs to be charismatic, brave, and possess an attitude of fearlessness. While this may be true on some levels, we find that the best leaders have several things in common, and charisma was somewhere behind these qualities:
- Top leaders lead, behave, and think with a “we” orientation. We find this is superior to the “I” orientation.
- They are organization focused, on all levels. They develop action plans that will benefit the company and all of its stakeholders, usually putting their own interests in the back seat.
- Effective leaders run productive meetings where they lead by example, taking responsibility for their actions and having a goal-oriented mindset.
- Communication is a high priority, and they ensure that the organization takes the time to help everyone understand the vision.
- The best leaders genuinely care about their people.
Organizations come in all shapes and sizes, having strategic and action goals of all stripes, yet these five items are consistent with success. Top executives create systems that work for the people, as well as the organization, and constantly review these systems for improvement. This improvement mindset doesn’t stop at their desk either, they use systematic reviews as powerful tools for self-development, constantly evaluating their own performance with an interest on getting better by becoming ever aware of their own weaknesses and biases.
“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.”
– Simon Sinek
Effective executive leadership not only leads by example, they pass this mindset on to their top staff. This behavior is extended by allocating the best people to the right positions and ensuring that there are opportunities for their teams to grow. It’s more than just delegation, it’s a personal understanding of what makes their team members tick, and helping them to continuously grow in ways that benefit the organization and the team member in an aligned manner. This is an important task that is often overlooked, but when done with a high level of effort, it creates high quality teams that produce outstanding work products.
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast, technology for lunch, and products for dinner, and soon thereafter everything else too.”
– Peter Drucker
This internal focus on their teams is balanced with an external focus on opportunities. Executive leadership, whether it be managers or c-suite level, are on the lookout for gaps in the company to improve, industry opportunities that can lead to successes, innovations or technology, and opportunities in their perceptions. Creating opportunity and innovation minded organizations creates a culture of asking the right questions and listening to the heartbeat of what drives that culture.
Contact us to learn more about how our Executive Leadership services can support your teams. We can assist by developing business strategies, supporting new leaders, or filling your interim executive roles while your organization grows.