Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself.
When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”
                                                           -Jack Welch

The dictionary definition of “lead” is “to be in charge or command of,” but being a leader is about much more than simply holding the reigns. Effective leaders exhibit all the following characteristics, and great leaders have mastered them.

  1. Competency on the Job: A leader’s actions must demonstrate that they know what they’re doing and that you can trust them to make the right decisions.
  2. Concern and Compassion for Others: People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Great leaders show their concern and compassion for other people – they show how much they care.
  3. Commitment: If the leader isn’t committed – no one else will be.  Great leaders show commitment to the mission of the Company, to results, to the people they are working with, and to their clients.  
  4. Consistency/Alignment: Leadership is 1% vision and 99% alignment. This includes consistency in behavior, in words, in message, and in treatment of others (both employees and clients).    
  5. Communication and Constructive Candor: The ability to say what needs to be said is crucial. Great leaders know how to clearly get their message across – to communicate ideas, direction, appreciation, and constructive criticism.
  6. Cultivate Collective Responsibility: Rather than a culture of finger pointing, you want all employees to take responsibility for their own actions and for getting results. This starts with the leader taking 100% responsibility and accountability themselves.
  7. Character: A leader is trustworthy and value driven. A leader’s character is displayed in how they treat other people and how they make tough ethical decisions. Employees will mirror the character of a company’s leaders. A leader with the character for cutting corners and telling lies sets an example for their employees that these actions are acceptable to the company.
Try this out:

For each of the following, rate the leaders of your company on a scale of 1-5

  1. I trust ____ to make the right decisions for the Company.
  2. ____ demonstrates that he/she cares about every employee in the Company.
  3. ____ is committed to the Company’s stated strategic goals.
  4. ____ is consistent in his/her behavior, in his/her words, in his/her message, and in his/her treatment of others.
  5. ____ is a good communicator and is able to get his or her message across effectively.
  6. ____ responds appropriately to constructive criticism of him/her.
  7. I receive constructive criticism from ____.
  8. ____ takes 100% accountability for his/her actions and what happens in the Company.
  9. ____ does not look to blame others when things go wrong.
  10. ____ is trustworthy.
  11. ____ lives by the Company’s values.  
  12. ____ always makes decisions guided by ethical principles.  

Add up the ratings for each, 60 is the top score. See how your Leadership Team does, and where they have room for improvement.

The CEO Checklist

Historically, 20% of the companies that make the Inc. 500 list crash and burn within two years of making the list. What should they have known? What should they have done or done differently?

In this program, you will learn the fundamental skills and behaviors that savvy entrepreneurs have mastered in order to survive and prosper.

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