Leadership – Beyond the Charisma

Leadership – Beyond the Charisma

April 17th, 2017 // 7:23 am @

Leadership in a CEO is critical; it can literally make or break a company, yet everyone has a slightly different view of what leadership is.

Today in our modern world of instant communications, some Business Leaders have become “Personalities”. Their actual commercial abilities in the businesses they have lead does not support this near cult status. Yet both here and in the US we had TV shows with famous business leaders holding court, yet both of them have left a trail of failed businesses behind them.

Clearly when watching shows such as the apprentice the audiences are not judging the hosts on real financial results but on the image they have spun of themselves, and one can only marvel at how some people can spin the truth into a fantasy, and get millions of viewers in the process.

True successful leadership produces real tangible results, one needs the ability to inspire and sell the company and its vision, but to be a true leader you need to do much more.

Firstly they need to develop and stick to a sound business strategy, and CEO’s with high ego demands, need this reinforced constantly and will ignore a sound long term plan for immediate gratification of their ego’s.

Beyond Strategy a CEO has to exercise command and control, these words are probably a little politically incorrect, however whatever phraseology is used it is the CEO’s job to make the right things happen in the real world.

If one studies the great generals of history they were able to work with wide strategy, but to turn that strategy into specific actions on the battlefield, a CEO must be able to the same thing.

Making things happen on the ground that reflect your strategic goals, CEO’s have several key tools at their disposal:

• Structure – Structuring the business clearly to allocate resources in the right places, making it clear to everyone who they report to and who reports to them.

• Responsibility – Putting knowledge, responsibility and authority in specific peoples hands. Too often the real knowledge is fairly low down in the company, the authority to make decisions high up, and responsibility lost somewhere in the middle.

• Budgeting – Have a set budget process that reflects your strategy, and review it with those responsible regularly.

• Key Performance Indicators – These have become very popular of late and are often misused to try and micromanage. I joined a company with a major telesales operation, and one of their KPI’s was “Time on the telephone” which was carefully monitored and people rewarded for lots of telephone time. It was quickly obviously the sales team were phoning friends or the local radio station and racking up lots of telephone time, but not talking to customers. One salesman was spending over 50% of his time on the phone talking to numbers that were clearly Canadian, his territory was in the US and he had no customers in Canada.
For KPI’s to work, there must be a small number of them (3/5) and must measure desired outputs.

Lastly but importantly one must choose the right people, and communicate with them clearly. When interacting with staff I ask them before we start what they are looking for from me:

• They may want the CEO to make a decision for them

• They may want to bounce around their thoughts, and then they will make the decision

• They may just want to tell you something

Any of these is a perfectly sound reason for discussion, but knowing what kind of conversation you are having before you starts clears a lot of confusion.
I had a boss once, who was a brilliant thinker, but any conversation you had with him, triggered him thinking he needed to make the decision. Brilliant though he was, he was making a hundred decisions a day, often with insufficient information or time, he made a lot of poor decisions.

People largely want to be successful at work, the real leaders build and environment in which this is likely to happen.

Great Leaders produce great staff:
• Knowing the company strategy
• Comfortable with their role in it, and the reporting structure
• Clearly understanding their level of authority
• With outcome driven KPI’s
• Comfortable talking and questioning the CEO’s

Great leaders should be judged by having great staff, not how aggressive they can be on game shows.

Category : Blog &CEO &Management Technique

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