The Big Five of Remarkable Leadership
The good news is – with focus, passion, and commitment – you can move toward remarkable leadership.
The big five of remarkable leadership:
#1. Have enough ego to believe you earned your place at the table.
- Base personal confidence on hard work, not charisma.
- Bring your best self to challenges, even when you feel self-doubt.
- A little overconfidence is better than under-confidence, as long as you stay open.
- Strive boldly for personal excellence.
- Make space for other remarkable leaders.
#2. Focus your energy and talent on delivering meaningful organizational results that yield personal fulfillment.
- Personal fulfillment fuels sustained motivation. You won’t last long, if you hate what you’re doing.
- An opportunity outside your strengths isn’t an opportunity for you.
- Determine your greatest contributions based on opportunity, passion, and personal strengths.
#3. Set long-term direction and remain flexible in the short-term.
- Determine what you want to accomplish and why.
- Stay vigilant to the self-defeating capacity to forget the big picture while hacking in the weeds.
- Set short-term goals and deadlines.
#4. Seek input, but whatever you do, make decisions.
- The decision-making process interrupts progress, but stagnation prevails until decisions are made.
- The more fearful you are, the more necessary the decision. That doesn’t mean rush to judgement. It means, after investigation and input, make the best call and move forward.
- Don’t make too many decisions. Just make the ones that matter most.
- Determine next steps. Avoid the illusion that making a decision and getting something done are the same thing. Decisions enable, but don’t guarantee action.
- Ask, “Who does what by when?”
#5. Spend more time moving forward than solving problems.
- Problem-centric leaders are anchored to the past.
- Remarkable leaders seize opportunities that create the future.
- The future is about gaining and retaining customers.
- Set a goal and seize the best opportunity.
Which leadership skills are most essential to remarkable leadership?
What might you add to the list of essentials for remarkable leadership?
* Many of the ideas in this post are more fully developed in The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
Ever so timely! My daughter sent me a post yesterday “To Hell with circumstances; I create opportunities”! Apparently she had an overwhelming day, yet manged to accomplish the workflow, showing herself gratitude. As I read the post I realized her path for the day, just like everyone’s day that can be beyond typical, how do we do it? Just look at the “Big 5” Just seemed to fit today!
Thanks Tim. Congratulations to your daughter. I find the seduction of focusing on problems to be nearly irresistible. Best
Dan great list by you and Peter Drucker
Another way to summarize it is that really great Leaders have these 3 C’s:
1. Confidence in themselves and their team
2. Commitment and passion for the organization and its goals
3. Control in what they try to manage and in letting go of control to trusted others
Brad James, author The Business Zoo
Thanks Brad. I love a good alliteration. 🙂
My favorite statement today is “An opportunity outside your strengths isn’t an opportunity for you.” I was from the school that taught to strengthen weaknesses (not-so-strong strengths) to be better rounded. That has never really worked for me. I find that I am happiest and doing my best when using my strengths and then I hired others to fill in where I wasn’t so strong. We make a great team!
Thanks Lisa. We shouldn’t undervalue “happiness.” Everything we do requires energy. Happiness is energy. It’s great that you found your stride.
Best for the journey.
It is gratifying to see Drucker being referenced, especially in a time when many younger leaders seem to never have heard of him. My dad was a Drucker disciple and I read “the Effective Executive” for the first time while in high school, followed by others passed along by my dad. . Dad was a manufacturing executive who “retired” at age 56 to start and operate a successful beef cattle ranch. He could -and frequently did- quote Drucker from memory, and a well-worn copy of “The Effective Executive” was ever-present among the collection on his bedside table. When my own career led me into leadership positions, Dad and I frequently had “what would Drucker do?” conversations about issues I was dealing with on the job. I think I’ll re-read “The Effective Executive” this week. Thanks for another thoughtful post!
Thanks Jim. We’re both fans of Drucker. As I wrote this post I started to realize so much of it came from his work. I dug out my copy of The Effective Executive and scanned it. His insights are timeless, I think because they deal with leadership from a human vantage point.
I’m currently re-reading the updated version of Peter Drucker’s 5 Most Important Questions…pure gold.
Best advice of the day: “Have enough ego to believe you earned your place at the table.”
It’s the toughest one for me; the one I know I need to hear the most. So many people, especially women, feel this way but no one likes to admit it.
Do I really deserve to be at the table? This question brings to mind “Lean In” topics, like imposter syndrome. But how can we solve the problem? I highly recommend Amy Cuddy’s TED talk “Your body language shapes who you are”. A seemingly insignificant thing i.e. posture is powerful and can change how you feel about yourself.
Would love to hear more of your thoughts & advice on self-doubt and under confidence and how to get over them.
Thanks for another great post, Dan!
Thanks Dr. Pinzon. Lack of confidence holds us back. I suppose over-confidence might get us in trouble.
A concern about being proud/arrogant may be another issue. But, there’s nothing arrogant about knowing what you do well, as long as you don’t have to put others down in the process.
Thanks for recommending the TED talk. In addition, I found that a good pep talk from a trusted friend makes a huge difference. There’s something empowering about hearing someone say, “You’re great at ….”
Dan, I had to smile at #4(4) above. Was it you who once shared this riddle?– “Five frogs are sitting on a log and four of them decide to jump off. How many frogs remain?” The answer is five, because deciding to do something is not the same as doing it. Whether you shared it or not, in my mind I give you credit because it sounds so much like a Dan-ism. I used it to open up my first meeting as chair of a board I serve. The smiles/nods and related body language told me I had a team of people who understood the message. Thanks.
Thanks Christopher. Great anecdote. It’s mine now! 🙂 … But, this is the first time I read it. Love it.
“Deciding to do something is not the same as doing it.” Powerful!
Love that frog anecdote – first heard it from a Jesuit friend of mine some years ago.
Yes, Clara, Jesuits are certainly men of action, aren’t they? I like that about them!
There are two types of leaders. Both are effective in their own way. One type of leader stands behind his/her subordinates (out of harm’s way, sometimes) and cracks the whip. The other kind of leader stands in front of his/her subordinates and says, “Follow me!” Which type of leader do you prefer?
Thanks Bob. You reminded me of the joke, there are two groups of people. Those who put people in two groups and those who don’t. 🙂
Thanks for jumping in.
I appreciate 4.1. It is important to listen to others. However, there are instances when you are the other as well. Hesitating to make a decision impedes progress. Make a decision and adapt as necessary.