The CEO drives strategy but this does not change the fact that the CEO is there mainly to deliver results.
Contrast is a recipe for success. How you go about contrasts will define you as a leader. No matter how insightful the advice you receive, as a leader only you can know how to manage the contrasts of the situation.
Top-performing boards of directors are built on a foundation of integrity and trust. I had the honor of serving on the Nokia board as the 150 year old company was preparing for the remarkable revival of the past years. This is what I learned.
The future of your company is wrapped around the question why. Why does the company exist, what problem do you solve?
A tight organization is tight but not uptight. It is relaxed and accommodating. Everyone knows that they are doing important work. There is trust, play and fun.
Building a tight organization is in the details. It’s not about strategy. Tightness requires trust and knowledge. Here are the three cornerstones.
A key question in building a b2b startup company is when and how to scale sales. The first rule is “Don’t do it yet”. It is always easier to scale a spreadsheet than a real business.
We may have different abilities and we play different roles, but we are not of different value. Each person in an organization plays an important role. All are worthy of respect and attention.
I was stubborn. Now I am persistent. I was self-centric and self-serving. Now I value equality and mutual respect. I was a day dreamer. Now I can envision things and think creatively about strategy. CEOs are not born; they are made – by themselves and by people around them.
“Focus on contribution” has become a personal mantra that reminds me of my intention whenever I interact with another person: “What can we learn from each other from this shared experience? Do we leave being any smarter, wiser and kinder?”
There is just one way to lead a team to success: by believing in the positive energy of each individual. Doing so sometimes leads to the wrong path. An important moment comes with the next project. A confident team which knows that experimentation is allowed and failures are not punished will be amazingly innovative.
Great leaders are great listeners. When you speak, actions happen. When you listen, everything else happens. This is why listening is a key part of success. Here is how to become a better listener:
When a good team becomes a great team, the whole company rises to a new level of performance. Everyone knows that you can accomplish anything together. Here are six things to keep in mind when building the team:
All-hands meetings increase productivity, motivation and teamwork. Committing to a joint goal is easier when everyone is in the same place. Here are three practical tips on how to arrange an all-hands meeting.
Focus is not what you do, but what you choose not to do. Startup CEO Kristo Ovaska learned the hard way to say “No”. He now declines long meetings, non-vital emails, external press requests, speaking engagements, and investor contacts that are not yet needed. This has brought about an entirely new level of productiveness.
12 things that it will always be useful to a leader to do more of. Focus more on opportunities than on problems – Deal more with substance than with appearance – Ask more than you answer.