Most great business leaders are grown, not created. Though you can't necessarily swap successful company presidents from industry to industry, you can identify personality traits common to the styles of most. These traits are critical to a business's long-term success, as the president's personality and style heavily influence corporate culture. They also determines how a president takes risk and innovates, both key to a developing company's future.
Great corporate presidents must be intelligent, but it must be a particular type of intelligence. He should be highly analytical and good with seeing both the big picture and small details. He also should be motivated to learn where he identifies weak spots in necessary knowledge
Honesty and follow-through are critical to both a company's success and its president's leadership ability. A president who cannot admit errors or who does not credit employees with their innovations will not hold employee loyalty and will have trouble motivating.
A corporate leader must be determined and certain of success. She should be goal-oriented and have the energy and drive to follow through initial successes with later larger ones.
Honesty and an open, straightforward communication style are complementary qualities of a great business leader. Straightforward communication generates initial trust, and later proof of honesty and integrity builds trusting relationships.
A great corporate leader looks to the future and solves potential problems before they become an issue.
Company presidents are used to winning at everything. It is not the winning that makes a great president, however, nor is it luck; rather, habits developed over years that lead to winning are the same habits that lead to outstanding corporate management.
A great corporate president is passionate about her company. She fervently believes in its value and its future profitability. This passion engenders a single-minded determination to lead a company to success.
Humble, but Not Submissive
Great corporate presidents are not enamored of their own greatness. Instead, they constantly seek out ways to improve themselves, their staff, and their business. Similarly, they are not ostentatious; most corporate presidents, like Sam Walton of Wal-Mart, drive years-old cars and live in comfortable but relatively modest homes.
Corporate presidents live by the saying that not making a decision is making a decision. A great leader is skilled in identifying the moment at which all possible information leading to a good decision has been gathered, and beyond which failing to make a decision leads to irreversible consequences. Additionally, when that decision has been made, a great corporate leader takes credit for it, good or bad.
- "Supervision Magazine"; Leadership Qualities of Executive Chiefs; November 1990
- "The Intangibles of Leadership: The 10 Qualities of Superior Executive Leadership"; Richard Davis; 2010
- She Takes on the World: Successful Leadership -- 9 Characteristics of a Good Leader
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