This is It! The Core Four

Over the last eight weeks, I’ve presented to literally hundreds of senior level executives at multiple professional association meetings and executive team meetings.

Much time and effort was spent discussing how to develop stronger leaders at all levels of business. In fact, one of the major frustrations CEOs and business owners of small to mid-size organizations express is the sense they must make all the decisions and then do the work to ensure things “get done.“ The irony is middle management feels micro-managed and the C-Suite feels overwhelmed and frustrated by the lack of “leadership” being demonstrated by their direct reports.

In one instance, a CEO implemented a “competency” model to ensure every employee understood the 72 unique behaviors required for “high performance.”  I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time remembering seven phone numbers much less mastering 72 competencies.

The essence of building leaders at all levels of business is twofold. Increasing individuals’ confidence and competence. Done well, a CEO or business owner will never have to micro manage again.

As part of my sales development and strategy execution client engagements, we are continually focused on building the CORE Four beliefs shared by all exceptional leaders.

Character – Having the courage to be the example others can follow. Demonstrating constructive candor in communication while demonstrating total commitment to the steps required for future growth.

Originality – Being open minded even when “the answers” are known. Getting out of the box and consistently stretching individuals and the organization. Fostering oneness: creating a sense of unity while accepting constructive friction among others.

Results – Being responsible for the outcomes generated. Demonstrating reliability (trustworthiness) when things are great and when things go terribly wrong. Leveraging resourcefulness. Regardless if a firm generates $1M or $1B in sales, the company will always be people and budget constrained.

Energy – Leaders must consistently engage, enroll and empower others. By lighting the spark of inspiration, individuals will become engulfed in their personal power vs. feeling forced to perform.

No one ever reaches perfection. By working to master the CORE Four, CEOs, owners and executive teams will have achieved 85% of leadership “mastery.” Interestingly, by reaching 85% of executional “mastery” the company will likely be operating within the top 99th percentile of their industry.

Less is most certainly more.