The Seven Imperatives of Great Leaders
by John Wilson, CEO and Founder of CEO Global Network
At this year’s annual Breakfast Brief, we had the privilege of featuring John Wilson, CEO and Founder of CEO Global Network, who addressed a room full of successful business leaders on what he has learned from his experience as a Consultant to CEOs and Presidents around the world.
Below is a summary of the seven key points John believes make great leaders:
1) Emotional Intelligence
This is the ability to understand yourself and others and it is twice as important as IQ. High emotional intelligence can be learned over time through patience and reflection and EQ-i self assessments are available to help guide your progress.
2) The Ability to Inspire
Great leaders must be able to communicate vision to their people with passion. Develop a one-page plan to align your vision and find time every month to conduct one-on-one meetings with your direct reports to communicate this plan. Most importantly, create a ‘battle cry’ that inspires others.
3) Great Tools
Quality decisions are guided by current and relevant information. Three tools that John suggests are Trailing 12 Month Charts for financial analysis, LPI 360 Feedback for honest reviews of your performance as well as your employees, and the book Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott to assist you with having those tough discussions one at a time.
4) Work-Life Balance
Being a great leader requires hard work and long hours, however it does not require putting your health and well-being at risk. John suggests working on your business more and in it less so that you can avoid burning out. Think about what you want from your life – maybe that European vacation you’ve been putting off, volunteering in Africa which has always seemed impossible or simply spending more time with your family – and just do it. Your success in business is directly correlated to your success in life. In order to support a solid work-life balance, you need to build a good team around you who share the same values.
5) Build an “A” Team
Revisit your hiring strategy and establish a benchmark of behavior traits that will help you achieve your organizational goals. Build a Talent File of outstanding individuals who you would want to have working for you when you need the expertise. Once you have your A-Team assembled, keep them by conducting team assessments to ensure that they work together like a well-oiled machine.
To ensure that you and your employees are taking responsibility and ownership to get things done, conduct one-on-one meetings to discuss challenges that they’re facing and the consequences of their decisions. Institute a Quarterly Priorities Management tool (QPM) to track progress on your management team’s yearly goals.
7) Peer Group Connection
Look to other leaders outside of your organization for support and knowledge sharing, such as CEO Global Network. Continue building your A-Team with other great leaders to influence each other positively. Also, at the end of every year, work on improving yourself by asking questions such as “What decision over the past year would I like to take back?” and “What one thing do I need to get better at this year?”
We would like to thank John and all of our guests once more for joining us at this year’s Breakfast Brief.
- Great CEOs and How They Are Made: The Seven Imperatives by John Wilson
- Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee
- CEO Tools by Kraig Kramers
- The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner
- Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott
- Topgrading by Bradford D. Smart, Ph.D.
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
- Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni