Guess what? Until you see yourself as a leader, no one else will. In fact, leadership has less to do with titles and more to do with behavior. Keep in mind that effective leaders strike a healthy balance between securing compliance and enlisting commitment from organizational members in their efforts to build an optimal organization, and ultimately, a stronger community. Relying on trust as the primary lubricant in fostering good relationships, these leaders galvanize their workforce to achieve unprecedented results and move forward in all directions. Read on to learn how you can become an even more influential Chief Example Officer.
Leaders realize they’re not the audience for their message. Ultimately, the role of leaders is to affect positive outcomes. Pure and simple. If you’re not affecting positive outcomes, then what are you accomplishing? Now, that doesn’t mean every interaction you’re involved with is desirable or fun, because they’re not. Someone once said leadership is about plumbing and poetry. There are days when all you do is clean up messes. Not much fun. Then there are other days where you can play poet…articulating a vision and enlisting others in its pursuit. In my consulting practice, I’ve had the good fortune of partnering with many successful leaders and based on those experiences and my own reflections, I offer seven mission-critical dimensions, so you can avoid committing leadership malpractice and instead be a successful and effective Chief Executive Officer:
- Strategist – At its core local government is the protagonist for a better quality of life, but the elasticity of that role continues to shift. Gaze beyond the horizon and aggregate the impact of emerging trends so you can toggle between being responsive and proactive. Reimagine your organization’s strategy (i.e. customer service isn’t a strategy) and reset the portfolio of services to leverage those emerging trends. Keep in mind that a vision shared isn’t a shared vision.
- Achieve Results –Every organization is perfectly designed to get the results it gets. Whatever your organization is accomplishing, it’s on purpose. Effective CEOs link results they’re driving for with the goals of the organization. Measuring outputs thinking they’re results is mistaken. Government is designed to achieve social outcomes, not just more outputs.
- Initiative and Drive: I refer to this a grit, guile and gumption. You either have it or you don’t. It’s up to you. Albert Einstein once said, “the older I get the more I realize, the less I know.” Stay curious!
- Political Savvy – You serve in a democratic institution run by elected officials, so assuming you can escape politics is a non-starter. CEOs navigate a political terrain full of subtleties and nuances and without being deferential, keep their integrity intact. It’s called judgment.
- People Skills – Let’s stop calling these soft skills, because they’re not. In fact, they’re the most difficult skills to master. Consider yourself wet clay and stay on the pottery wheel, learning and applying new skills (i.e. creativity, providing feedback, delegation, etc.) continuously. Remember, you lead people whereas you manage things.
- Catalyst for Change – Is your organization changing as fast as the world around us? If not, time to speed it up. CEOs recognize the merit of an idea has little do with its success. Organizations have tons of great ideas discarded to the cemetery. Become fluent in change and shepherd new ideas into your organization’s DNA by being purposeful, deliberate and intentional.
- Culture Advocate – CEOs facilitate a workplace culture that makes sure the penalty for making mistakes is not greater than the penalty for doing nothing. These leaders realize that growth and comfort don’t co-exist, but that creativity and discipline do, in their efforts to nurture and cultivate the production of potential solutions.
I consult with individuals as well as groups, providing a range of leadership development services so if you’re interested in accelerating your impact as a leader and becoming the CEO you desire to be, please contact me at email@example.com and together we’ll co-create a customized learning and development plan in your journey to, in the spirit of Mejorando, “get better all the time.”