Friday, March 31, 2017

Great CEOs and How They are Made - The 7 Imperatives

I recently read a book by John Wilson - Great CEOs and How They are Made - The 7 Imperatives.

The first imperative - EQ.  I have long known EQ is critical for success.  I also believe in AQ (ability to deal with adversity).  I know my IQ is not as high as many people (hopefully than most of my staff) so have to make up for it with EQ.

The Second is Ability to Inspire.  I have thought often how I manage to do that and there is not a simple answer.  Part of it is having a great vision for the company.  Part of it is constant communication.  And part of it is "do the right thing".

The third chapter talks about team.  Clearly I believe in team.  Where I diverge is there was a lot of reference to A players - as if they just are A players.  I believe the job of a good leader to to make people into A players by process, systems, training, mentoring, inspiring and slotting people in the right job for them.  If I have C players it is my fault for not making them better.

The 4th is accountability followed by 5 - tools and KPIs.  In my mind these tie together.  You need the measures to tie with the goals.  He recounts a cute story:

”An Accountability Fable”
Four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody, have an important job to be done…and Everybody was asked to  do it.  Everybody was sure Somebody would do it.  Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.  Somebody got angry about it because it was Everybody’s job.  Everybody though Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.  It ended that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done….and thus accountability was born”


Dan McCarthy, Director of Executive Development Programs, University of New Hampshire, Whitmore School of Business

And 7th is CEO connection.  No CEO should be alone.  CEOs need peers.  CEOs learn from other CEOs.  John runs CEO Global Network so has seen the power of CEO networks first hand.  And of course his book would speak to that.

Good book - fast read.

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