In both my Executive Coaching and Turnaround Consulting practices, I invariably work with the loneliest person in the organization, the Chief Executive Officer. Whether he or she has the title of CEO, Founder, Division President or something else, the entire organization watches them like a hawk. No matter how healthy or successful the organization or the person, there is usually something I find or they want to improve that rests with the following twelve key measures.
Actually what you think about yourself in these areas is a good place to start, but more important as a leader is what do others, your associates, partners, suppliers, and customers believe? That is where I can help in providing an honest, candid confidential appraisal.
Actually these leadership points apply to everyone for we are all the CEOs of our life.
- Do you truly inspire and motivate your team? How energized and motivated is your organization? Is your team built upon transparency and trust? Is good performance recognized and rewarded. Are people afraid to fail or are they anxious to try new things. Does your organization take time to celebrate or do you govern by fear and coercion? Do you truly treat people with respect or are you apt to simply consider them as resources?
- Are you an effective delegator? You are not a leader if there are not people behind you following, supporting, and supplementing you. Would your people label you an effective delegator? Effectively your organization should be equipped to break down your directives into manageable sections so they may be executed. Are they clear about your direction and have you provided them with the tools they need to do their jobs? How do you grow your people if you are not delegating to them?
- Do you communicate effectively? How effectively does your organization understand the mission and directives you establish? Have you measured this?
- How are your leadership development skills? You suffer a serious heart attack or auto accident; does your organization miss a beat? If so, this is an area for immediate attention. If you don’t have capable successors and gaps in your organizational structure, you need to quickly improve in this area. Do people come to you as the almighty swami or do you encourage them to make decisions for themselves keeping in mind the good of the whole? Who have you developed lately?
- Do you maximize effective financial and human resources? What kind of people do you hire? Are there skill and intellectual gaps? How about the attitudes? Other airlines could not copy the Southwest model or success because they neglected to hire the same profile of people that Southwest did. Are you looking for clones or are you hiring people who bring different skills and perspectives to the mix and are encouraged? And YOU are responsible for mobilizing the resources to fuel your operation. How resourceful are you?
- Do you strive for constant improvement and change? Everything in the Universe, including you and your business is in a constant state of movement and change. Are you proactive or reactive in managing yours? A key strategy is to strive for constant if only small improvement. If you do, is this also mirrored and followed by those in your organization? If not, why not? Would your suppliers and customers agree and are they part of the solution or the problem?
- Do you truly care about your associates and customers and does it show? When was the last time you measured this? The only valid answer to this issue comes from outside you. When people realize that you truly care about them, they will move mountains for you.
- Do you protect those who follow and support you? We both know that you have competitors that spend every waking hour considering how they will out-create you, take your market share, customers, resources, and of course, your employees. Do you protect your company from these prowlers?
- Are you consistent and disciplined? Are you consistently focused and aware of what your core business really is? Many leaders either don’t know or have lost sight of what their core business really is. What is yours? What do you do consistently do to exploit your core offering and improve your core competencies?
- Are you an effective planner and strategist, and do you follow-up? There are so many organizations and leaders who spend an inordinate amount of resources in planning and strategy only to drop the ball in the accountability area of follow-up. Do you and your systems both stop to plan and them remember to follow-up?
- Do you model good integrity and citizenship skills? You probably already realize this, but here is a reminder that it is your character that most will learn from and emulate. People are most apt to follow the master. Are you setting a good example? If they do as you do, you can never blame them. This area will typically affect far more than your immediate associates so be ever so careful.
- Do you practice a healthy lifestyle with healthy relationships? You are doing your business absolutely no favor whatsoever if they take you out feet first to a morgue or you are distracted with personal, relationship, or other health issues. Effective leaders also effectively manage their personal lives with nutrition, exercise, sound financial practices, and loving, meaningful relationships. Do you encourage or tolerate workaholics or do you help them achieve balance? What about yourself? Workaholics are kidding the world if they really think that they are indispensable and so valuable; they are just the opposite. Yes, sooner or later the best of us are all challenged, but are you trying to resolve all your issues yourself? Quite possibly I might be of assistance.
So if I just walked into your office, where might we start?
Bob Fagan continues to accept a limited number of Executive Coach and Management Consulting clients and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.