There are three main ingredients needed, and many of them may surprise you.
- Relationship builder – Why in the world would this be the first on the list? This is the highest ranking team member…they are in charge and everyone has to listen to them. Positional leadership is part of it, but it is only the beginning on the way to building something larger than yourself. This is a trait which is often overlooked, but it is the one that will allow the leader to grow others and not hold them back. If I value those on my team, I have a responsibility to help them win. Without a relationship internally they won’t. Without a relationship externally, the company will cease to be relevant.
- Not the expert – This may also seem counterintuitive, but it is something that is critical. A strong CEO doesn’t have to be the expert. As a matter of fact, it often works best when they are not. This will force them to put really smart people around them, whom they will listen to. Just putting them around you won’t move the needle, you must also listen to them.
- Servant – A CEO does not exist to be served, but to serve.
Imagine what position would not be needed in the absence of front line employees, management oversight. When we get this part of the equation wrong, we find ourselves in a place lacking stability. If the reason for being shifts from that of serving to being served, the team will not realize their potential.
When we find ourselves at the top, remember the journey it took to get there. Leadership tone is set from the top and it effects culture. Without relationships, being the smartest person in the room, and having a need to be served would be a recipe for disaster.
What ingredients should be added? Leave a comment below.