Leading Blog






12.17.08

Preparing to Lead: Things You Should Be Thinking About Now

The Secrets of CEOs
The Secrets of CEOs is a valuable tool for reference, inspiration and guidance. Authors Steve Tappin and Andrew Cave have assembled 150 interviews with chief executives and woven them into a lucid and absorbing guidebook on some of today’s big issues. Some of the chief executives they interviewed provided their perspective on what you need to keep in mind as you prepare to lead:

Adopt the Mindset of a CEO
Approach this from two levels: from the bottom up and from the top down. “From the bottom up, assume the mindset of a CEO in your core work activities: deliver first, but take a broader view on how to help the wider business be more successful. From the top down, learn to assess the business from the point of view of the CEO.”

Develop Winning Habits, but Know How to Lose
Most CEOs believe that their experience with serious failure or very difficult situations, were some of their most valuable experiences. Lord Browne put it, “Everything adds up to you: a book read, a business, traveling to somewhere that you fail. Experiences build character and you grow your intelligence, skill and judgment.” When CEO of Aurigo Management, Archie Norman hires people, he wants to know, “What has been that moment that you have stared into the cavern? What did you have to do where you had to confront really difficult people, people you just didn’t get along with or you didn’t like?”

Be a Student of Personal Development
Try to pick up a coach and a mentor pretty early on. Hone your strengths and work on your weakness where you can.

Have a Life
CEO Mitch Garber says, “It’s important to have not just strategic and business leadership experiences but a broad enough experience of life. For me life experience has included my marriage, bringing up my kids, setting up a shop at 14, being a lawyer, being a professional skier, and my interests in food and travel. It is diverse experiences which allow me to talk to and relate to employees at all levels.”

Learn to Celebrate Your Success
Take the time to celebrate successes; it will energize you to tackle the next goal.

Show Total Commitment but Ruthlessly Change Role if You’re Not Being Stretched
“A number of CEOs said that it was vital to absorb everything you can from every role before moving on; do not only excel in your job, but observe how the business you’re in works and what’s going on around you….Move on without regret only when you’ve sucked the experience dry.”

Be True to Yourself
Ben Verwaayen, former CEO of BT observes, “Authenticity is only possible with confidence because the temptation to be conformist is enormous.” The authors add, “In short, be yourself. When push comes to shove, you have to make all you big decisions with your heart; you can’t lead if you’re acting.”

Posted by Michael McKinney at 12:59 PM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Leadership Development



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