Chief Executives In Training Inc. invites you to contact us to receive our monthly complimentary CEO Report. Each month a new Higher Leadership insight will be featured.
The monthly CEO Report offers higher leadership insights that support discerning leaders in their quest to become greater. The focus is to observe personally and corporately what is not being done, see what is not obvious and hear what is not being said that may sabotage the results desired. The insights are designed to encourage leaders to break self-sabotaging patterns in order to succeed beyond their own expectations.
What is HIGHER LEADERSHIP?
Higher leadership begins with the leader observing every aspect of their performance. Becoming the observer allows the leader to innately know their ultimate leadership strengths, talents, expertise, and core values. Also, the leader must realize and acknowledge the personal and corporate challenges, limitations and obstacles that may cause loss or even failure. It is in knowing where the leader may fail that the leader actually begins to succeed.
Knowing how the company or leadership may fail proactively invites an immediate solution. Not taking action in finding a solution results in pure sabotage. The higher insights featured monthly in the CEO Report are designed to inspire leaders to think and feel differently about what they are doing or not doing that sets them up to succeed or fail. The choice is yours.
Are you a great leader?
There have been approximately 65,000 books written in North America to become a better leader. You would think that at least one of these leadership interpretations would provide a sustainable guideline to lead more effectively.
Leadership is not complex. You are either a leader or you are not.
In Webster's Dictionary, "leader" is defined as "one having the ability to lead."
Therefore, "ability" needs to be dearly defined, and not assumed. Too many leadership positions are built on assumptions that the person chosen to lead can lead. If the person assigned to the respective leadership role does not have the appropriate experience to lead or the necessary "abilities" have not been clearly defined, the leader has been set up to fail.
A leader's strength is measured through the strengths and limitations reflected by those following. In other words, when the leader sees deficiencies in others, they must look at the deficiencies within themselves. And, similarly the strengths revealed mirror the leader's strengths and credibility. Being the leader is a privilege, whether the position of leadership is inherited or chosen. This privilege must be respected, as those following are seeking a leader to be proud of.
Lead by Example
In order to lead by example you need to know the example that will inspire others to follow.
Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing a client's employees to discover what they felt was the example their President and CEO led by and did that example serve them.
This exercise proved to be most insightful. The example that impressed the employees the most was that they believed their President and CEO lead with integrity. The example of integrity was demonstrated in the following three ways:
- He followed through with what he said he would do.
This example instilled trust.
- He openly admitted to making mistakes.
The fact that he allowed himself to be vulnerable and communicate to his employees that he was not perfect secured even greater respect.
- He personally, professionally, and financially invested in them.
The employees felt honoured by his generous commitment to their ongoing success which resulted in their continued loyalty.
"Leading by Example" is only an expression until the Leader decides to lead with an example that actually serves those following.
Common Sense Leadership
Leaders either demonstrate common sense or they do not. Common sense is knowing what is obviously required, in order to naturally move forward without asking someone else for direction.
As you become conscious of your own common sense, you may discover that "common" sense may not be as common as you think. In some instances, it may be better described as "uncommon" sense.
How many times have you heard someone offer advice to another by saying "just use common sense" as if the person spoken to actually knew and understood what was being asked of them? Common sense is an inherent and innate trait and cannot be taught.
Henry Ford was a true example of leading with common sense. He was not only acutely aware of his strengths; he also recognized his personal and professional weaknesses. Henry chose to surround himself with others who were perceived to be smarter. His purpose was to set himself up to become greater. This common sense decision proved to be a powerful professional ingredient that has contributed to the sustainable success the Ford Motor Company continues to experience to this day.
Trust your gut instinct and do not doubt when a decision makes "sense", common or otherwise.
Are you Consistently Managing Effectively?
Consistent effective management is at a premium. Most levels of management are being held hostage by the spontaneous corporate shifts being experienced by most companies today. Therefore, the sustainable accountability and responsibility being expected of management is in jeopardy.
Consistent effective management has many layers. Over and above what is taken for granted or expected of a manager, a manager inevitably owns and projects their unique style and performance of management. Most managers usually inherit positions of authority over others due to the corporate shuffle. Therefore, managers are not generally trained to lead others effectively. The expectation of the company is that the managers will manage the people to produce, create and add value to the ultimate objectives. The noble intentions of the manager usually end up on a roller coaster of events and the desired outcome is not realized at the level intended.
The deficiency is that the managers are not focused on a proactive but reactive leadership style. Proactive would give the manager too much rope to hang him or herself with. Therefore, the safe route is to wait until a problem or deficiency arises and then spend endless meetings trying to reactively solve the problem or situation that does not honour or serve the desired original objectives. The challenges of consistent effective management are enormous:
- Lack of Confidence
- Fear of Loss
- Lack of Respect
- Making Assumptions
- Lack of Leadership
- Lack of Authority
- Lack of Knowledge
- Settling for Mediocrity
- Not Leading by Example
And the greatest of these is to ask oneself in the role of manager, "Am I consciously setting my staff up for success or failure?" Also, "Is my role to deplete or exalt?" Consciously choosing each day to position others to be greater is each manager's greatest legacy. The ripple effect of positive pure intent is critical to sustainable success. How does a manager first realize the ultimate value in setting such a criteria? By choosing to set others up for success the outcome experienced will be guaranteed.
- Greater Confidence in yourself and others.
- Respect, loyalty and admiration.
- Clarity in recognizing strengths instead of limitations in yourself and others.
- Above and beyond the individual's job description additional responsibility and accountability will be taken.
- Discernment will rule.
- Passion and a renewed sense of self will rise to the surface and overcome mediocrity.
Where do managers go to gain such courage to lead and manage on a higher level? Where do they plug in to maintain and sustain consistent focus to platform others and give them permission to go beyond to proactively and consistently reach the desired objectives? In closing, start right now to re-evaluate your management style and make new choices that will impact sustainability.
Chief Executives In Training invites you to contact us to receive our monthly complimentary CEO Report. Each month a new Higher Leadership insight will be featured.
Please feel free to share the CEO Report with friends or colleagues.
© 1993-2010 Chief Executives in Training Inc. Updated May 2010.