A natural leader should be easy to spot. You should be able to walk into any business meeting and within a few minutes pick out the leader. I’m not talking about the CEO, manager, or anyone else with a title. I’m talking about the person that everyone in the room keeps looking at and speaking to.
Hopefully that person is the decision maker and voice of the company, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. Having a title doesn’t make you a leader, and don’t confuse being the boss with being a leader because those are two different things.
Years ago, Global Hotel Network would step in and save struggling hotels. One of the first things that they would do is fire the person in charge. Why? Because if that person was a true leader (not just by title) then the company would not be in that situation.
An effective leader trusts their team and surrounds themselves with other leaders. You have to know what your strengths and weaknesses are, and then work with people who have different attributes to balance out and create the perfect panel of leaders.
Who do you look up to? What qualities and strengths do they have that you respect?
If you were to have an “out-of-body experience” and looked at yourself unbiasedly, would you be on that list?
Now look at your current leadership team. What qualities and strengths does each of them bring to the company?
You may not be able to change who you are as a leader, but you can increase the effectiveness of your leadership by surrounding yourself and partnering with other leaders who have a shared vision of how the company needs to grow.
Here is an excerpt from the Harvard Business Review talking about hiring the right CEO:
First: take the time to arrive collectively at a short list, not of candidates but, first, of criteria. An open and rigorous debate over CEO criteria is the most important step a board can take with succession. Then: commit to a process by which the potential leaders they consider will be honestly, consistently assessed against those criteria and a winner will emerge.
Why is the early narrowing of criteria so important? From the outset, it reinforces the reality that no CEO candidate is perfect. All of the available options will have noticeable strengths and weaknesses. The board’s challenge is to decide what deficits it can live with (usually because they can be compensated for by the rest of the leadership team), and which two or three criteria are non-negotiable must-haves.
Let’s break this down…
They are looking at the qualities and strengths of the leader they want before they talk to anyone. They have also evaluated the rest of the leadership team to know each person’s level of effectiveness.
A company is only as good as its leader, and so the question remains; how effective are you as a leader?
April Salsbury, MBA is a strategist, an analyst, an operational guru, a recognized leader and C-suite global healthcare executive with drive and focus for competitive markets. Co-host of The Business Forum Show and regular contributor to various business journals, she possess multi-functional and multi-national competencies with more than 15 years experience in business and healthcare. Her expertise is in invigorating revenue growth and infusing value of lean practices in growing companies through improvements to cash flow and operations management.
Fueling revenue, growth and profit, Salsbury & Co. is a consultancy firm focused on helping businesses and healthcare organizations achieve excellency. Our specialists have executive experience combined with deep functional expertise to provide our clients with services that drive real impact and results.
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