In this post, when I refer to leader, I am referring to the CEO, or where the buck stops for the organization. Other leadership positions within an organization are important, but are still dependent on the leader and the degree to which he or she succeeds in these four areas.
Bring Calm and Order
A leader must stabilize the culture of the organization by instilling confidence in their ability to manage all that comes their way. Even an executive team that supports the leader needs this – their ability to convey confidence in the leader to their own teams is of utmost importance. If a leader is not able to bring calm and confidence to those he leads, look out. Most executive teams will not lie to defend their leader’s incompetence, because it brings into question their intelligence and integrity. When a team sees their senior leader fail to support the leader by omitted endorsement – if not blatant verification of criticisms – the leader is in serious trouble.
Continually Focus and Bring Clarity
This is NOT simply vision casting. It is putting a great and measurable tactical plan underneath a strategic plan and keeping everyone on target.
Give Structure and Accountability
Part of calm and order is everybody understanding who is responsible for what, who reports to whom, and what everybody is empowered to do. Then the leader must consistently hold everybody accountable to those responsibilities through structure.
Catalyze Organizational Movement Forward
Through consistent, competent decision-making, the leader must catalyze the organization towards the communicated future state. We know this is the definition of a leader, but how often do we actually measure a leader’s performance based on this? Sadly, not nearly often enough.