15 Ways to Know Your CEO is Worthy of Being Followed

Nothing useful ever happens when a disconnected high-and-mighty leader shows up for a visit.

The memo:

When high-and-mighty leaders show up, a memo goes out that reads something like, “The big cheese will be in our offices tomorrow afternoon. Make appropriate preparations.”

The leader in the above organization expects others to serve him/her. She enjoys being worshipped. His arrival signals stress, not enthusiasm.

Most people wish egotistical leaders would stay away.

The arrival of a ‘leader from on high’ is a frustrating distraction for the people who are doing real work.

A CEO worthy of being followed is:

  1. Highly visible.
  2. Readily accessible. A leader worthy of being followed has time for people.
  3. Passionate about developing and promoting people.
  4. Curious about people as people.
  5. Excited about the work everyone is doing.
  6. Offended by elaborate displays of pomp.
  7. Dedicated to turning praise toward others.
  8. Not impressed with personal perks. The trappings of power fuel ego.
  9. Ready to grab a shovel and dig with everyone else.
  10. Optimistic in the face of challenges.
  11. Humble. Ask your leader what they’re learning about leadership. If you’re afraid to ask because they’ll be offended, you already know they’re unworthy of being followed.
  12. Eager to smile and laugh.
  13. Systematic about seeking feedback.
  14. Determined to make progress while enjoying the process.
  15. Committed to the best interest of the organization as a whole.

Leaders worthy of being following work FOR their teams and everyone knows it. Lousy leaders work for themselves.

What’s on your list of qualities that make a leader worthy of being followed?

What’s at the top of your list? Why?