Practical Gems From Excellent Leaders

From my observations over 30 years of consulting, coaching, and executive work:

  • The best leaders know that people respond to excellent managers, challenging and stimulating work, and high-level opportunities to grow.
  • They do not underestimate their people—ever.
  • They are candid, honest, and up-front with people; never playing “gotcha,” “favorites,” or pretending to seek consensus when they already know what they want to do.
  • They welcome input, debate, and contrary views on key decisions knowing that different perspectives and ideas will improve everyone’s decision making. But once a decision is made they expect everyone to fully support it, both publicly and privately.
  • They set their standards of performance high, even though they know that people will respond at different levels.
  • They demand that people move at the leader’s pace because they know that people will become faster and better. (As opposed to going the pace of the slowest person.)
  • They get a sense of pride and accomplishment from the accomplishments of their people, and they recognize people for doing great work.
  • They find that helping others to exceed their own expectations is extremely rewarding.
  • They make tough decisions when they need to and don’t allow bad behaviors or dysfunctional relationships to continue.
  • Finally, they understand that their own behaviors have a significant impact on the entire organization and its culture, so they are role models.
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