It is ironic how often people hear from others (like me) about what great leaders do and how infrequently people hear from great leaders themselves about what they are actually doing! Recently, I did have that opportunity as part of a yearlong leadership development program I am co-facilitating.
Each year’s cohort begins with a dinner followed by a Q&A session with several members of the organization’s C-suite, including the CEO. The firm’s success as measured by its exceptional growth; profitability; high employee engagement and low turnover; and impact on the communities it serves across the country, are all a testament to the wisdom and insight of these leaders.
Here some nuggets I captured from that session:
- Leaders need to be inquisitive and willing to keep learning. Furthermore, they need to be aggressive about finding new opportunities for learning.
- It is of utmost importance to keep transmitting the culture as the company grows in size and complexity.
- The reason “soft skills”, i.e. relationships matter in business is the value of spontaneous human interaction.
- People when they are encouraged will do great things.
- You can’t work with the people you want; you have to work with the people you have.
- I’m not leading if I’m telling.
- Vision emerges from the relationships that exist.
- You can’t overvalue situational awareness.
Which one(s) of these speak to you? Which do you need to embrace?