This short news item ties together a couple of brilliant HBR articles I came across recently and felt moved to share – always looking for simple and memorable guidance, I was drawn to their pithy summaries.
Bill Taylor, in a recent HBR digital article, highlighted 5 questions leaders need to ask to get beyond the “usual meaningless blather” around corporate culture. And in the May/June HBR magazine, leaders from the CEO Genome Project have concluded (after nearly 10 years of research) that leadership success “is not a function of unalterable traits or unattainable pedigree. Nor is there anything exotic about the key ingredients…”
So, armed with a lack of meaningless blather, and a distinct lack of the exotic, I share the following, straight up, no fuss guidance on leadership.
From Bill Taylor, these are the 5 five hard questions about the “soft” side of business that leaders must be able to answer if they hope to build a workplace that works: –
1) Is your talent strategy rooted in your business strategy?
2) Does your company work as distinctively as it competes?
3) Can you capture what it means to be a member of your organization?
4) Is your culture built for learning as well as performance?
5) Can your culture maintain its zest for change and renewal, even when the company stumbles?”
And the findings from the CEO Genome Project, suggest the four essential behaviours (there are others) to look for in potential leaders are: –
- Deciding with speed and conviction
- Engaging for impact (with all stakeholders)
- Adapting proactively
- Delivering reliably
To me, these questions and behaviours are at the core of great leadership…you could say they don’t represent anything new. But even as I write about them here, the questions carry increasing meaning and, despite a lack of exoticism, the behaviours necessarily require not only the inclination to dig deep, but a fair degree of courage.
How would you score yourself, or your organisation, in these key areas?
5 Questions to Ask About Corporate Culture to Get Beyond the Usual Meaningless Blather: Bill Taylor – HBR Digital article June 1st 2017
What Sets Successful CEOS Apart: Botelho, Powell, Kincaid and Wang – HBR Magazine May/June 2017