Aside from growing my own, I’ve also supported a lot of CEOs in growing their leadership teams. There are many differences between the teams, their skills and personalities. But when it comes to the leadership team there’s a common factor between the members of that team who make things happen and those who don’t.
It’s not so much a skill as an attitude.
In a word?
It’s by far not the only attitude or skill that counts. Empathy, direction, ability to make decisions, a positive values set, self-discipline, humour, communications, wisdom – the list of skills, attitudes and values that make a good leader is long.
But ownership, especially when I look at leadership teams rather than founder/owner/CEOs, is the one I’ve seen most correlated to success.
I see many who either constantly find reasons why something failed, or who find ways to immobilise themselves. They frustrate CEOs, even while the CEO may appreciate their skills.
My advice to the CEO is to look beyond the reasons. If a member of your leadership team consistently doesn’t get something done which they’ve committed to, it’s rarely about the actual thing they’ve committed to.
If they constantly throw up the 37 edge-cases why something won’t work, it’s rarely about the thing.
If the pattern repeats, it’s usually about the lack of a feeling of ownership.
In that instance, have a discussion. Get to the root of why the pattern is there. Then either support their growth as leaders in developing their ownership capacity, or accept that they may be great at their work, but not cut out for your senior leadership team.
AND be open to the possibility that your own style of leadership may be preventing them from truly owning their areas of responsibility.
And for leadership teams? If you’re serious about the responsibility that comes with the position – not just the recognition, pay or kudos – then be serious about owning and getting what you commit to done.
Note that this doesn’t mean burning yourself out. It may in many cases mean to be judicious about choosing what you commit to. And it will most likely include focussing on your own growth as well.
But without a leadership team that genuinely owns what it is responsible for, then your company won’t reach its potential – impact, profit or purpose.
How we can support you
- Join us on a workshop on how to scale your company; create time to focus on the bigger picture; and keep values and purpose core to your company. For max 5 CEOs of companies with revenues between £1.5m and £15m.
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- Talk to us to explore how we can help you scale your company in the direction you want to take it.