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4 Behaviors of a Great CEO According to Harvard Business Review


Strong leadership is critical in building a great company. However, many companies have leaders and leadership teams that don’t exhibit the behaviors necessary to succeed. Harvard Business Review authors (Botehlo, Powell, Kincaid, Wang. May-June , 2017 Edition of HBR) state the problem simply as “Too many CEOs fail at their jobs.” So, the question is what behaviors do great leaders have that make them successful in their role?

The HBR article cites research done in partnership with University of Chicago and Copenhagen Business School with help from analysts from SAS, Inc. and data provided by ghSmart. The data contained 17,000 executives, along with 2,000 CEOs containing in depth information on career history, business results and behavior. Here is what they found to be the most important behaviors of successful leaders:

  1. Deciding with speed and conviction

  2. Engage for Impact

  3. Adapting Proactively

  4. Delivering Reliably

The authors offer additional insight on what makes a successful leader:

“CEOs who ranked high on reliability employed several other tactics as well. Three-quarters of them were rated strong on organization and planning skills. They established business management systems that included a cadence of meetings, dashboards of metrics, clear accountability, and multiple channels for monitoring performance and making rapid course of corrections. Most important, they surrounded themselves with strong teams.”

EOS helps strengthen the 4 behaviors illuminated in the HBR article:

  1. The Issue Solving Track™ requires leaders to get to the core of an issue and solve it quickly, consistently and ultimately making sure you are Deciding with speed and conviction. As Gino Wickman often says, “successful people are just really good at solving their issues.”

  2. Strengthening The Vision Component™ ensures leaders can Engage for Impact. Aligning your leadership with the right people on the team will create a group focus and strength. Think of it like a football team’s offensive line – they are aligned and strong and understand their role. They are ready for impact.

  3. Adapting proactively requires you to have great people all focused on good, solid data cutting through subjective noise so that you can see what is coming at you. The data doesn’t lie. In strengthening The Data Component™ teams can adapt based on trends. Adapting is important, but knowing when to and when not to chase every shiny object can be a challenge for leadership teams. Establishing a clear vision allows teams to adapt proactively within their Core Focus™ and avoid dispersing their valuable energy.

  4. Delivering reliably requires you to know what you are going for long, medium and short time frames. Being sure you have a 10 Year Target™, 3 Year Picture™, 1 Year Goal and Quarterly Rocks will make sure you know what you need to achieve. The V/TO™ is designed to communicate these targets. Additionally, EOS brings a disciplined Meeting Pulse to your organization, which keeps teams accountable to their deliverables.

It takes some introspection and clarity for leadership teams to admit they may not be functioning as a healthy team, but recognition is the first piece. The second and most important part is to be open to change.

#leadership #execution #culture #CEO #EOS

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About Next Level Traction

Stuart Robertson is a Colorado based Certified EOS Implementer® serving clients in the Rocky Mountain region and across the United States.

2123 Emerald Drive

Longmont, CO 80504

(720) 996–0187

stuart@nextleveltraction.com

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