In three situations, the top leader was unaware that his behavior was directly contributing to the dysfunction in his company. In none of these situations was the top leader able to discover and fix these challenges on his own. Two required intervention by the board.
Here are key lessons for leaders from these four engagements:
- Invest in becoming more self-aware: understand how you are wired, how you make decisions, how you communicate, what are your hot buttons. (In a next article, I’ll talk about how.)
- Seek feedback on your actions: learn how you are impacting others around you; learn how others are experiencing you. (This is not easy because everyone will resist the career limiting risk of telling you.)
- Your actions speak far more loudly than your words: you are always visible, your employees are keenly aware of what you do and how you do it, never assume they don’t know, always assume they are watching and assessing. The old axiom is true: “Your actions are so loud I can’t hear what you are saying.”
- Build Trust: make your leadership team a safe place in which people can say what’s on their minds without fear of repercussion from you or others on the team.
- Take charge of Values, Behaviors and Culture: these are key factors the top leader or business owner can’t delegate. Your company will have and DOES have a culture. It just may not be the one you want.
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