We are in a study and discussion of Gary Burnison’s recently published book titled, The Twelve Absolutes of Leadership. Burnison is CEO of Korn/Ferry International, the world’s largest executive search firm.
Regardless of your level within your organization, the book’s introduction provides excellent content for discussion with and among your leadership team:
“As the leader, you must be cognizant of the past, intensely focused on the present, and constantly scanning the horizon for what the future will bring. Your starting point is the here and now, the results that you realize today. From here, you must execute a strategy to take you there – a point that your team members may or may not be able to see as yet. As the leader, you paint the outline, allowing others to collectively fill in the canvas.
Being a leader is not about a title, salary, or privilege. It is being responsible to and for others, from the livelihood of your employees to the expectations of key stakeholders. To lead is to be all in, transparent and accessible, calm in the face of upset and even crisis, and always mindful that you are a steward of something bigger than yourself.”
An open, honest, transparent discussion with and among your leadership team regarding each and every sentence of the two paragraphs above will prove to be very healthy and productive. Just having the discussion sends a very powerful message.
Asking each and every member of your leadership team “how are we and you doing?” regarding each sentence delivers another very powerful message; the message that you are striving for improvement, that you are seeking the involvement of each member of your team and that, most importantly, you are inviting and expect their input.
Asking each member of your leadership team “how am I doing?” delivers yet another powerful message; you, the leader, are open to input and improvement. Asking each member of your leadership team “how can we improve?” and clearly stating your expectation that “we will improve” further emphasizes that these powerful messages will not be forgotten!
Take the time, have the discussion, reap the benefits. Now that’s leadership!