The two requirements for an excellent leader are character and competence. Character refers to your personal qualities of integrity, courage and persistence. Your competence is measured by how capable you are of leading, managing, and getting the job done. There are seven critical areas where you must perform consistently...
JOB NUMBER ONE: SET AND ACHIEVE GOALS
In a recent Fortune article investigating the reason why twenty-eight CEOs of Fortune 500 companies had been fired in the previous three years, one fault stood out above all others: "Failure to execute."
When General George C. Marshall, chief of staff of the U.S. Army during World War II, was urged to replace the arrogant and outspoken General George S. Patton, he told his critics, "I can't spare this man; he wins battles."
JOB NUMBER TWO: INNOVATE AND MARKET
Apply the "CANEI Strategy" to your efforts. CANEI stands for "Continuous and Never-Ending Improvement." Never be satisfied.
JOB NUMBER THREE: SOLVE PROBLEMS AND MAKE DECISIONS
Whatever title appears on your business card can be crossed out and replaced with the words "Problem-Solver." This is your real job.
Effective executives are good at solving problems. They make the right decisions, and they make their decisions right.
In solving problems, think and talk exclusively in terms of solutions.
JOB NUMBER FOUR: SET PRIORITIES, AND WORK ON KEY TASKS
According to Robert Half International, fully 50 percent of time at work is wasted doing things that contribute nothing to the goals of the company. Of the 50 percent of time that is actually spent on the work, much of that is wasted as well n low-value tasks.
JOB NUMBER FIVE: CONCENTRATE SINGLE-MINDEDLY ON THE ONE ACTIVITY THAT CAN MAKE THE GREATEST DIFFERENCE
Long-term potential consequences are the key to setting priorities. Always ask yourself, "What is likely to happen if I complete, or fail to complete this particular task?"
JOB NUMBER SIX: PERFORM AND GET RESULTS
This is how you are judged every single day. Your ability to get results determines your pay, your promotion, your success, and the respect and esteem in which you are held by the people around you.
JOB NUMBER SEVEN: BE A ROLE MODEL FOR OTHERS
This is something only you can do, and it is perhaps the most important responsibility of leadership. One of the marks of superior executives is that they conduct themselves as thought everyone were watching them even when no one is watching. Top people set higher standards for themselves than others would set for them.
Immanual Kant, the German philosopher said, "Live your life as though your every act were to become universal law for all people."
The highest achievement for a leader is the develop of "moral excellence." On this plane of behavior, the leader practices the highest virtues of courage, integrity, and character that it is possible for a person to have. The leader holds his own feet to the fire. He continually raises the bar on himself. He never makes excused for his performance. He refuses to blame problems or difficulties on his subordinates.
Perhaps nothing contributes more to unity of command than for subordinates to work under someone they greatly respect and admire. Your commitment to becoming a great person, and to demonstrating your values in your every act, is perhaps the most important quality of leadership.